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APC govs coerce civil servants for registration –PDP You’re allergic to democracy, says opposition party

OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday accused

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governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC, controlled states of coercing civil servants to partake in the ongoing party registration exercise.

The National Auditor of the PDP, Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju, in a statement in Abuja alleged that the plot informed the reason why

Jonathan’s Chief of Staff, Oghiadomhe, forced to resign P.6

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Tuesday, Tuesday,June February 7, 2011 11, 2014

N634bn kerosene deal:

N150 N150 TORDUE SALEM AND WOLE OLADIMEJI

Minister, NNPC GMD’s F absence stalls probe …Reps vow to compel corporation to appear

ailure of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, to appear before the House of Representatives investigating the alleged N634bn subsidy on CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Henry Okah caught in jailbreak attempt P.6 Presidency bows, furnishes Reps with 2014 budget details P.4

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L-R: Primate, Anglican Bishop of Uganda, Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali; his counterpart in Nigeria, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh; Chairman, Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, Most Rev. John Kondoro; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and former CAPA Chairman, Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi during CAPA’s visit to Fashola in Lagos, yesterday.

FG to spend $900bn on power sector

Govt to invest N1.3trn on P.2 varsities in In 30 years, releases $550m for projects 6 years Homosexuality: 2 NYSC members arraigned in Ibadan P.10 –Wike P.8


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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FG to spend $900bn on power sector TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND CHIDI UGWU

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he Federal Government has disclosed that about $900bn is required for the development of Nigeria’s power sector in the next 30 years. President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed this while addressing delegates of the International Conference on Power Sector and Infrastructure Financing held at the Banquet Hall, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“Under our National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan, we need a total $2.9 trillion for our infrastructure developmental efforts in the next 30 years, i.e. 2014 - 2045. “The energy sector alone needs an infusion of about $900 billion during the period. “Of this, a significant percentage is expected to come from the private sector. The power sector alone needs about $10bn for CAPEX of generation and distribution companies in the next few

years in enabling us add additional 5,000mw,” Jonathan said. The President, who was represented by Vice-President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, noted that at present, only about 55 per cent of the nation’s population has access to electricity, stressing that Nigeria’s per capital electricity generation is relatively one of the lowest in global terms. Jonathan, who regretted that power supply from the national grid still remains as low as 50 per cent, stated

that the country’s transmission grid requires an annual investment of about $1.5billion for the next 5 years to ensure its reliability and stability. The president also announced the setting up of Power Sector Intervention Fund to enable industry players have access to cheap – long term funds. “To enable industry players have access to cheap – long term funds, government is hereby setting up a ‘Power Sector Intervention Fund.’ The financial re-

L-R: Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo; his counterpart from Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Vice-President Namadi Sambo, during their arrival for the Nigeria Power Financing conference in Abuja, yesterday.

sources for this special Fund will be pooled from the Federal Government, Development Financial Institutions, DFIs, as well as local and global and financial partners,” he added. He said that the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would give details of the operational structure of the Fund while the Federal Government will make initial deposit of N300billion to ensure the success of the endeavour. He said the National Integrated Power Projects, NIPP, which are under construction have been substantially completed, adding that the process towards the privatisation of the projects, which would create additional 4,700mw to the national grid, is expected to be completed by December 2014. Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, said the conference was to facilitate interaction between new investors and financial institutions to meet the funding needs of Nigerian power sector, which at the moment has a voracious appetite for investment. According to him, the forum would also provide opportunities for clarification of government policies as they relate to power sector to facilitate financial investment in the sector.

APC govs coerce civil servants for registration –PDP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

the exercise earlier slated to end yesterday, was extended by two working days to enable civil servants in their respective states get registered. But the APC in a swift reaction said the PDP’s sponsored sabotage of its ongoing membership registration in several states of the federation as well as its rush to the media to condemn the process have shown the ruling party as a cog in the wheel of democracy. PDP said: “This madness on the parts of the APC governors of forcing the innocent civil servants to register for their party must stop, it is real especially in the SouthWest where I come from. I have been receiving series of reports on this since the beginning of the exercise. “The innocent civil servants will have no option

than to succumb to the directive for jobs security since they have no jobs elsewhere. “APC is desperate, they have been telling the civil servant to go and register with APC, and that without the party’s membership card, there will not be promotion for them, and later they will go a step further that without it you cannot enjoy certain services being provided by the APC controlled states.” He also alleged that the APC had cajoled the innocent people to register with the party by telling lies that the membership registration was organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which they must partake ahead of the 2015 general elections The PDP national auditor disclosed that the intention of the APC was to fool

the nation that they had registered over 100 million members at the end of the exercise. Adeyanju, who expressed dismay on the tactics being used by the APC to force innocent people to join the party, urged INEC to rise to its responsibility by calling the opposition party to order, saying that it was against the Electoral Acts 2010 (as amended) for any political party to force its membership on anybody. “I think both the INEC and other appropriate security agencies should wade into the matter before the power drunk APC governors start to punish innocent civil servants that may defy their illegal directives. “They are even coercing market men and women in Lagos State to go and register or forfeit their shop allocations outrightly,” Adeyanju added.

In a separate statement, PDP commends Nigerians for shunning the APC membership registration which has resulted in the extension of the exercise. The development, according to the party has shown that Nigerians were not fooled in spite of the attempts by the opposition party to hoodwink the people, undermine the electoral process and coax unsuspecting Nigerians by portraying the exercise as INEC voter registration. “This is the first sign of rejection for the boastful APC. It is a clear indication that the party is neither on ground nor does it command the followership its claims. “They have now seen that true membership and public support are not secured through media hype and propaganda,” the PDP said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh.

“It beats imagination that the APC is making mountain out of molehill over ordinary membership registration. Besides our great party, other opposition political parties have hitherto successfully conducted the same exercise without overheating the polity as the APC unnecessarily does at the moment,” he added. Accusing the APC of constituting nuisance in the political landscape, the PDP advised them to learn to be more humble, noting that arrogance and pride, which are their hallmark, have set the party on an irreversible downfall ahead of the general elections. But in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said since one of the ways to truncate democracy is by stifling popular participation, the PDP as a party

He spoke on the transition and governance structure of emerging electricity market assuring that the nation’s transition is from a government monopoly to a structured and regulated private sector dominated market is on course. “This market is one that is governed by contracts, regulations, a market where contractual obligations are honoured on a pre agreed and transparent manner,” he stated. Speaking on behalf of the local banks, the Chief Executive Officer of the Diamond Bank, Mr. Alex Otti said local banks have invested about N750 billion into the nation’s power sector. Otti, who expressed confidence on the processes of the entire privatisation, noted that the local banks are willing to invest more into the sector in the coming years. Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday said $550 million had been released to the Sovereign Wealth Fund, SWF, managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, for investment in the power sector. Briefing the media on the funding support for the sector shortly after the opening session of the International Power Sector Conference, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

stands accused of working to truncate Nigeria’s democracy by its campaign of lies against the its membership registration. The party said the only reason the PDP called a hurried press conference to spew out lies on another party’s membership registration exercise is because the ruling party has seen the handwriting on the wall, since the registration started, and has consequently become overly jittery. “The PDP is wrong about its claim that the APC is engaging in phantom registration. The party should know that while anyone can manufacture numbers, no one can manufacture human beings. “Therefore, in the fullness of time, any party that gives a fake number of its membership will get its comeuppance. “The truth is that within CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Chairman/CEO36, Schneider Electric Group, Mr. Jean-Pascal Tricoire; SSA to the Minister of Power on Access to Energy, Dr. Albert Okorogu; SA to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Hon. Kingsley Kuku; Africa Zone President, Schneider Electric, Mohamed Saad; President, Schneider Electric Nigeria, Mr. Marcel Hochet and Nigerian Ambassador to France, Amb. Hakeem Suleiman, at the inauguration of the Isaac Adaka Boro Technical Training School in France, yesterday.

L-R: Fellow, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Mr. Abiola Popoola; Human Resources Executive, MTN, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola and guest speaker, Dr. Oladimeji Alo, at the Personnel Practitioners Consultative Association (Lekki, Ajah, Badore) Inauguration/Lecture in Lagos, recently.

L-R: Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, News Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Jones Afolabi; Executive Director, Editorial Operations, Mr. Isaac Ighure; Managing Director, Mr. Ima Niboro; Executive Director, Marketing, Otunba Jide Adebayo and Director, Administration and Human Resources, Mr. Danjuma Bitiyong, during Niboro’s maiden meeting with staff of the agency in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Executive Secretary, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Mrs.s Zainab Ahmed; Board Chairman, Mr. Ledum Mitee and a member, National Stakeholders Working Group, Dr. Okpareke Kate, at a public enlightenment workshop on oil and gas industry in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

National News

Presidency bows, furnishes Reps with 2014 budget details TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND TORDUE SALEM

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he Presidency yesterday sent details of the earnings of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, and other federal agencies to the House of Representatives as requested by it. A member of the House told National Mirror that the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Hon. John Owan Enoh (PDP-Cross River), had informed members that the details had arrived from the Presidency. “I just received a text message from Hon. John Enoh now that the budget details have arrived and we (members) can come and have the details,” he said. Hon. Ali Ahmad (APCKwara), a member of the Budget Legal Implications Committee set up by the Speaker of the House,

Hon. Aminu Tambuwal last week, said yesterday that “the budget will be discussed” today. In an exclusive chat, Ahmad said the estimates may be considered pending the provision of estimates of some agencies in line with section 21 (1), (2) and (3) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. National Mirror also gathered from a source in the House that the Presidency was ready to allow for a compromise of some sub-heads or some proposals in the money bill to allow its passage by the House. Hon. Emmanuel Jime (APC-Benue) had caused a stir last week, when he raised a motion asking the House not to consider the budget based on its breach of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2004. He said the Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, would next week approach the House on issues of a possible compro-

mise. The House through its Committee on Finance had earlier rebuked the minister for trying too hard to paint a rosy picture of an economy in dire straits. The Clerk of the Committee, Mr. Farouk Mustapha, in a statement he signed yesterday on behalf of the committee, queried the minister’s handling of the economy and sought fresh answers to key aspects of the economy. “The minister’s latest attempt was in a statement issued from her office, citing a reduction in domestic borrowing and reasons for the seemingly uncontrollable rise in the recurrent expenditure. “For us, we have carefully refrained from responding to the minister’s assertions and claims over the past couple of weeks in view of the fact that a public hearing at which the actual state of our economy will be known have already been scheduled for March 3

to 6, 2014. “Nonetheless, we are compelled to say, as we have often stated, that no one is excited about the celebrated insignificant decline in domestic borrowing. What the people are asking is, borrowing at what cost? What is the cost of these so-called reduced domestic borrowings, how are they serviced? How are the decisions taken? “Beyond that, since the minister is in the habit of comparing our situation with those of other countries, why would she not tell Nigerians that the cost of our domestic borrowing remains one of the highest in the whole world! “In 2011, our domestic debt stock was N5.6 trillion; it rose to N6.5 trillion in 2012, and by 2013 it climbed higher to N7.1 trillion. Domestic borrowing for 2011 stood at N852 billion, N744 billion in 2012 and N588 billion in 2013. For 2014, it is put at N572 billion. The cost of ser-

vicing the debt was N495 billion in 2011. In 2012 it increased to N559 billion and jumped to N591 billion in 2013. In 2014 a whopping N712 billion has been earmarked for debt servicing. He said; “On the issue of rising recurrent expenditure, the minister should tell Nigerians her accomplishments in the drive to lower it, instead of repeatedly passing the buck. It does not help to keep laying the blame at the doorsteps of previous administrations or attempt to drag late President Umaru Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan into the problem. “The minister said cuts have been made in the recurrent expenditure but in what areas and by how much? Are the cuts made anything to be proud of ? “Our recurrent expenditure in 2011 stood at N2.4 trillion. In 2012 it rose to N3.4 trillion and dropped to N2.4 trillion again in 2013. In 2014 it has risen a little

higher to N2.43 trillion. “In acknowledgement of her established reputation as a world-class economist and banker, President Jonathan called her home from the United States to help provide direction and improve the economy. “Dr. Okonjo-Iweala should let us know if this challenge surpasses her expectation, therefore, she is finding it difficult to cope. However, we like to repeat our earlier caution to Nigerians not to be deceived by the bogus statistics from the ministry. It is high time some people in public office stopped believing they possess the monopoly of knowledge on the economy.” Meanwhile, the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria yesterday urged the National Assembly to fast-track the ongoing deliberations on the 2014 Appropriation Bill to ensure that its socio-economic benefits accrue to the country.


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Minister, NNPC GMD’s absence stalls probe CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

kerosene forced the panel to suspend sitting yesterday. Also absent was the Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, Mr. Haruna Momoh. The Chairman of the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Down Stream), Hon. Dakuku Peterside (APC-Rivers), said the exercise could not go on because the ministry and NNPC were central in the kerosene subsidy regime and without the two bodies, it was impossible to continue. “We are now compelled in this circumstance to once again put off the public hearing. We are adjourning to Tuesday, February18, but we want to assure Nigerians that we owe them every responsibility to unearth every expenditure and subsidy on kerosene,” he said. The three-day investigation, which was supposed to begin at 10a.m., could not start until noon due to the absence of the key stakeholders. A letter sent to the committee and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Danladi Kifasi, said the minister “will be

participating in the International Summit on Power Financing which started today. As a result, we regret to inform you of our inability to honour your invitation.” On their part, both the NNPC and PPMC, in separate but similar letters signed by M.B. Bamanga and Mr. G.O. Komolafe said they were engaged with the Senate Committee on Finance. But Hon. Peterside was angry by what he said were the antics of the ministry, the NNPC and the PPMC in frustrating the committee from carrying out its assignment. He particularly expressed disgust at the uniformity in the letters written by both the NNPC and PPMC requesting for extension of time to appear before the committee. He said: “You can see that the wordings of these two letters are the same though signed by two different individuals. The letters were both written on the same day (February 7) and the sentences are the same. So, who copied from the other? This is unbelievable.” The chairman noted that while the NNPC procures, the PPMC is the sole importer of kerosene, so there can

APC govs coerce civil servants for registration –PDP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

the first three days of our registration exercise, we had met and exceeded the target we set for ourselves. Nigerians have flocked to our party, which they have come to see more as a mass movement than just a political party. This explains why we have extended the registration period by two days. The PDP is aware of the widespread acceptability of the APC and has started quivering,” APC said The party said instead of splitting hairs over the registration exercise, the PDP should go out there and launch its own membership drive if it wants to know what Nigerians think of it. “PDP officials should not just sit in their Abuja offices and make phantom allegations about some party engaging in phantom registration, They should go out there and see for themselves what is going on, and how Nigerians are streaming aboard the train of change that the APC has become,” it said.

APC also asked the PDP to stop trying to sabotage its membership registration by sponsoring attacks on registration officials and hijacking registration materials in Abia and Rivers state, bribing some fifth columnists to sabotage the process in Delta, and burning down its secretariat in Gombe The party denied getting any assistance whatsoever from INEC or using any material obtained from the commission, “except of course if the public spaces we are using for the registration are now being seen by the PDP as INEC’s property. “The PDP accused the APC of trying to truncate the country’s democracy simply because the party (APC) is giving Nigerians the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to associate freely.” “It is now clear to all discerning Nigerians that it is indeed the PDP that is working hard to truncate our democracy by blocking popular participation and

never be any proper investigation if they are absent. He assured Nigerians that the committee would do a good job and unearth the secrecy surrounding the kerosene subsidy. It will be recalled that the House had in November 2013 mandated the Petroleum Resources (Downstream) Committee to conduct an investigative hearing on the expenditure and subsidy on kerosene. The committee was also asked to ascertain the actual amount spent on kerosene subsidy from 2010 to

2013; establish the source of the money used in financing kerosene subsidy and the relevant budgetary approval; determine the companies benefiting from the subsidy; establish the extent (if any) to which the subsidized kerosene gets to the consumers at the regulated price and also investigate all incidental issues relating to kerosene supply and distribution. The decision was the outcome of a motion moved by Hon. Adeyinka Ajayi (APCOsun) that the investigation be conducted into the matter.

Ajayi had noted that kerosene, being the only source of energy for millions of Nigerians was scarce and sells at an exorbitant price, wondering if kerosene was subsidised in Nigeria and who authorised it. He had earlier noted that kerosene, which is supposedly sold to marketers at N40.90, hardly got to the consumers at the regulated price as it was only the NNPC retail outlets that sold the product at N50 per litre, while other major and independent marketers retailed the product at be-

tween N130-N135 per liter. The lawmaker also drew the attention of the House to the N634 billion said to have been spent on kerosene subsidy between 2010 and 2012. According to Ajayi, the House should be more “concerned about the alleged racketeering going on at NNPC where allegations are rife that kerosene is purchased from the depot by dealers at between N65 to N75 per liter which in turn makes it commercially impossible to resell to Nigerians at the recommended retail price of N50.”

L-R: Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola; Hon. Uche Ekwunife and Hon. Beny Lar, during the press briefing on Women in Politics Conference in Abuja, yesterday.

FG to spend $900bn on power sector CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, said $200 million of the amount will be deployed into the Infrastructural Fund of the NSIA to finance gas to power investments with the private sector. She disclosed further that the balance of $350 million will go into a liquidity facility, which the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, NBET, will manage on behalf of the Federal Government to boost investors’ confidence in the power sector reform. The minister said the additional $550m released to the SWF represented an increase of over 50 per cent to the $1 billion take-off funding which the NSIA got at inception. Okonjo-Iweala explained that the objective of the $200 million that will be committed to the Infrastructure Fund vehicle of the SWF would generate catalytic funding for gas to power infrastructure, which will leverage on available funds to boost the development of

the sector and improvement in power supply. “This is evidence that the investment which the country is making in the NSIA is increasing and the benefits of this investment will bear good fruit for the country. There is still work to be done but we are on the right track. “The additional funds were derived from the $1 billion Eurobond which the country successfully floated last year, proceeds of which were set aside for financing power infrastructure”, the minister said. According to her, an agreement had been reached that the private sector partners will contribute an additional two dollars for every dollar invested by NSIA, indicating that the $200 million to be deployed into the gas to power infrastructure development has the potential of generating up to $400 million more in additional private capital. In his remarks, Managing Director of the NSIA, Uche Orji, spoke on various

investment commitments by the Authority in areas of infrastructure development over the past year and expressed the hope that the additional funding support by the government would boost ongoing efforts to enhance the infrastructure capacity in the sector. He assured that the management of the Authority would continue to look into the power generation and distribution infrastructure needs with a view to supporting ongoing agenda for improved electricity supply in the country Specifically, Orji provided an overview of the investment initiatives of NSIA in power, agriculture healthcare, transportation, housing, amongst other sectors, adding that the NSIA is determined to fulfil its mandate by ensuring prudence management of its resources for national development in the years ahead. The NSIA, by the provisions of its enabling act, is established to develop

investment plans based on most effective policies and guidance targeted at achieving the aim of such investments and also empowered to reinvest all realised proceeds and dividends from and interest on portfolio investments of Funds into new or existing assets of the Funds. The three Funds established by the Act are the Future Generation Fund; Nigeria Infrastructure Fund; and Fiscal Stabilisation Fund with each fund holding at least 20 per cent of the assets under management. The NIF is targeted at making investments specifically related to and with the aim of assisting the development of critical infrastructure such as power generation, distribution and transmission, agriculture, dams, water and sewage treatment and delivery, roads, port, rail, airport facilities and similar assets in order to stimulate the growth and diversification of the Nigerian economy.


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Jonathan’s Chief of Staff, Oghiadomhe, resigns ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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hief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, was yesterday forced to resign his appointment. According to sources, Oghiadomhe was fired by the President based on security reports that indicted him in several contract scams in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). But the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, told jour-

nalists that Oghiadomhe resigned his appointment. Abati said: “Nothing extensive to say other than to confirm that the Chief of Staff has resigned his appointment and it has nothing to do with the speculation that one online portal has tried to put out. “The President received the letter today (yesterday) which is titled: ‘letter of resignation’ and it says he wishes to pursue other political necessities in our great party. “You would recall that about two weeks ago be-

fore the President travelled to Ethiopia, he announced that if there was any member of the cabinet or any major political appointee who wants to pursue some other political roles that he had been hearing rumours that some people wanted to pursue other things in whatever capacity, that such people are going to

be engaged heavily in political activities, they should let him know; and if they see that they are going to be really busy, and such activities may occupy their time extraordinarily, they should please step aside or come and see him for discussion. “You can confirm that. You can see that what I

have pointed out as the reason for the Chief of Staff ’s resignation is in line with that. “So, we find the speculation particularly by some of the online platforms callous, completely unreasonable, considering that this is a man who has served and who has given time and energy to the pursuit of the good in-

terest of our country. “Mr. President appreciates his contributions and he would like to put on record that, indeed, he was a man who discharged his responsibilities diligently and the country is very grateful to him and the President personally would like to wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Henry Okah caught in jailbreak attempt

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enry Okah, sentenced in South Africa to 24 years on terrorism charges, has been caught in a failed jailbreak attempt, prison authorities said yesterday. “I can confirm that Okah is one of the five inmates that attempted to escape and whose efforts were foiled,” Manelisi Wolela, spokesman for South Africa’s department of correctional services, said. He did not give details of the attempted escape from Leeukop prison in northern Johannesburg, said to have taken place in January. Okah was convicted last

year and sentenced on 13 counts of terrorism, including twin bombings that killed 12 people in Abuja on October 1, 2010. He was arrested, tried and convicted in South Africa where he has permanent residency. The department said most of the offenders involved in the botched bid to escape are serving life sentences for serious offences, including murder, kidnapping and robbery. Correctional services officials said security at the prison, which recorded 11 attempted jail breaks in the 12 months until March last year, had been tightened.

Lecturers decry state of nation’s education MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA

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olleges of Education lecturers yesterday decried the current state of the nation’s education which they said “is now in shambles” due to neglect by the government. The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) stated this in a statement signed by the union’s President, Emmanuel Asagha, and General Secretary, Nuhu Ogirima. The union’s outcry came less than 24 hours after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), whose members returned to classrooms last December, having grounded the nation’s public universi-

ties for six months, threatened it might go on strike again. ASUU alleged that the Federal Government refused to implement the agreement that led to the suspension of the strike. COEASU accused the Federal Government of not showing concern for its demands since it declared strike on December 18, last year. It said: “It is most unfortunate and a sad commentary on our national life that Nigeria, a country toying with the idea of becoming one of the 20 greatest economies globally in the next six years, can be insensitive to the truckload of problems bedeviling her education.”

Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan inspecting a guard of honour during his visit to the Defence College on the occasion of his lecture to COURSE 22 of the college in Abuja, yesterday.

Treasury looting is PDP’s major preoccupation, says Atiku OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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ice-President Atiku Abubakar said yesterday that the major preoccupation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since 1999 is the persistent looting of the nation’s treasury. Atiku asked the PDP leadership to respect those who fought for the nation’s democracy. “But I challenge anyone of them to show their contribution except looting the Nigerian treasury,” the former Vice-President said in a statement made available to journalists by his media office in Abuja. He said instead of looking for scapegoats, PDP should take responsibility for the state of the nation. Atiku, in reaction to the insinuations by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh, that

the former Vice-President and other defectors from party are ingrates, noted that it was inappropriate for the leadership of the PDP to describe him in that light. He said as a former Vice President and someone who had worked hard in the formation of the PDP, he deserved respect from the PDP leaders. Atiku said when leaders speak; they should not do so with selective memory. “The personal insults in the PDP statement succeeded in doing just one thing, which is to depict its managers as childish, petulant, and above all incompetent. It confirms the notion on the part of many that they don’t have what it takes to live up to their ‘sacred’ mandate. They have lost their way, and their refusal to recognise the error of their ways has prompted the shepherds to - reluc-

tantly - move on, for the nation’s sake to build a better future for the country’s teeming population,” the former Vice-President said. He recalled that the new guard in the PDP kept a low profile when he (Atiku) with other champions of democracy such as the late Gen. Shehu Yar’Adua, the late MKO Abiola, the late Kudirat Abiola, the late Sunday Afolabi and others, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu fought to remove the military from power. Atiku said: “Since almost all of us - the founding members of the PDP - have been hounded out of the party because we allegedly have one aspiration or the other. People who supported the military rule or did not even know what was going on are now the masters of PDP, and present themselves as the custodians of the nation’s future. “If I and other patriots

working in tandem with the National Assembly did not work together to retain term limits in the Constitution, none of those holding power today would not have been there from local, state or federal governments. Those who wrap themselves in the PDP banner should at least recognise and respect those of us who made today’s debates possible.” The former Vice-President said the PDP leaders were detached from reality and had chosen to ignore counsel, and that the latest slur illustrates why the party had become a threat to the country’s future. Atiku claimed that his effort to help build PDP in line with the principles of internal democracy was deliberately frustrated by those who wished to transform the party into a personal fief.


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CBN to screen bank employees

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Activists during the remembrance of the late Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti in Lagos, yesterday.

FG to invest N1.3trn on varsities in 6 years -Wike T

he Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, said on Monday that the Federal Government would invest N1.3 trillion in university education over the next six years. Wike made the statement when a team from the World Bank and the African Centres of Excellence (ACE) paid him a courtesy call in Abuja. He said the Federal Government was making huge investments in research, infrastructure and improvement of quality

teaching in the university system. Wike said this was because the government realised the potential that could be harnessed in an effective university system. He said the allocation of 10 slots out of 18 ACEs to Nigeria by the World Bank was a proof that such investment was beginning to yield dividends. The minister said that it was the duty of Nigerians to ensure that they played their own part by contributing to the development of

the sector. He said Nigerians should also shun all vices that often portrayed the country in negative light. The minister assured the World Bank that the $80 million grant to the ACEs would be judiciously applied to achieve the goals for which the centres were established. He commended the leadership of the National Universities Commission, NUC, for achieving such a feat and expressed the belief that it had the capacity to supervise and monitor

the implementation of the funds. Responding, the ViceChancellor of the University of Jos, Prof. Hayward Mafuyai, on behalf of his colleagues, gave an assurance that the ACEs would be made into models the world would copy. Mafuyai said the ACEs were aware of the fact that the success or failure of the project in Africa was largely dependent on Nigeria. He said this was why the universities would ensure that they lived up to expectation.

Shekarau blame Tinubu, Buhari as reasons for dunping APC OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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ormer Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, yesterday took the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the cleaners, saying that he left the party because former Lagos State governor, Ahmed Tinubu and Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (rtd), amongst others, planned to pocket the party. He also alleged that the main opposition party was a political fraud “that has lost its soul and cannot be touched or seen.” Shekarau, who spoke at his formal declaration

to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Abuja, boasted that no intimidation, blackmail or character assassination would change his vision. He said: “Some people want to pocket the party when the constitution of the party cannot be found anywhere on the streets of this country. We cannot see ourselves belonging to a platform where we have been made to pocket others. There is nowhere in the constitution of APC that said X and Y are the leaders of the party.” Tinubu and General Buhari are often seen and referred to as the leaders of the APC.

The former governor also alleged that the APC had no structure, challenging the leadership of the party to produce the constitution and manifesto of the party if there was any. “Some people wanted to pocket the party; that was why the constitution of the party is yet to see the light of the day. “The soul of the APC is lost. It cannot be touched or seen. The APC constitution is a political fraud. There is no management at any level of APC, this is the issue we raised and this is what we challenged. I did all I could do to salvage the APC, with no results. I refused to keep quiet in the face of the she-

nanigans going on in the APC.” He however said that the decision to dump APC was jointly reached with his supporters in Kano and across the country. Also speaking at the occasion, former Sokoto State governor, Atahiru Bafarawa, who also defected to PDP recently, said that the APC has now become the old PDP. He lambasted the leadership of the party for parading themselves as leaders of the party, contrary to the provisions of the party’s constitution. Bafarawa added that they were in PDP to rebuild the party.

he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said that it would start screening new employees by banks before they resume duty. The bank in a circular to banks and discount houses, said the move is to prevent the recycling, within the banking industry, of erstwhile bank employees indicted, terminated or dismissed for fraud and other acts of dishonesty. The circular said: “We refer to our circular to all banks dated July 16, 2004 on the above subject, wherein banks were required to obtain the prior approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for all prospective employees. “Following representations made by banks during the CBN/Banks’ Human Resources Forum held in December 2013 regarding difficulties in the strict implementation of the above circular, the Management of the CBN hereby approves the following amendments: New employees of banks and discount houses may assume

duty prior to obtaining the approval of the CBN, if this proves difficult or impractical. “However, for employees that assume duty without CBN’s prior approval, banks and discount houses shall, within 30 days of their assumption of duty, submit their curriculum vitae and other relevant information on the new employees to the CBN for clearance.” According to the circular, banks and discount houses shall as part of the terms of employment, state that the offer is subject to the receipt of satisfactory responses on any background checks or other inquiries on the employee from relevant authorities. The circular, signed by Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, said the above amendments shall not apply to new employees on the grade of Assistant General Manager and above adding that banks are required to continue to obtain its prior written approval before resumption of duty for these categories of staff.

Sanusi must resign for embarrassing FG, says group OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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group which styles itself as New Nigeria Initiative (NNI) has called on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to resign his position. The call, according to the group, followed Sanusi’s decision “to throw caution to the wind’ by revealing the alleged missing money in the sale of the nation’s crude by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, while reconciliation of the books was still going on.” Sanusi had at different times mentioned such figures as $49.8 billion, $12 billion and $20 billion as the amounts that the NNPC did not remit to the Federation Account domiciled with the apex bank. The group, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by Dr Maccido Abdullahi, said: “Since the outgoing Central Bank Governor,CBN, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has decided to wear the garb as the emperor of financial institutions in Nigeria, we shall let him know

that we do not recognise the illegal turbaning, which he conducted all by himself. “We hereby serve notice that if, within 10 days from today, he does not resign as CBN governor, he should be prepared to be disgraced out of office for improper conducts which we are ready to expose to Nigerians and the world at large. This is not a threat but a promise. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” The group faulted aspects of the memorandum submitted by the CBN governor to the Senate Committee on Finance, pointing out that, for instance, his assertion that the fiscal terms of the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) could be renegotiated without recourse to Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) might not be true. “This is because any renegotiation of the fiscal terms of the PSCs would require amendment to the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act of 1993 as amended. This Act specifies the tax and royalty rates to be paid by the PSC contractors.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Confab: Yoruba panel biased -MURIC AISHA TITILAYO

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non-governmental organisation, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has observed that the Yoruba Committee on National Conference, which met two days ago at the Isara-Remo, Ogun State, started off on a wrong footing as the committee had no single muslim in attendance. The meeting, which was held to strategise on the selection of delegates for the South-West geopolitical zone ahead of the conference, had some of the prominent Yoruba leaders in attendance. They included Sir Olani-

wun Ajayi (host), Chief Olu Falae, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd.), Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, former presidential candidate, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite; Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi (rtd.) and Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu. In a release signed by its director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, MURIC expressed its worry over such an action, arguing that it gave room for suspicion. “Such a gathering lacks balance. It is not only parochial but also myopic. They should be able to look ahead. Are they saying there are no Muslims in Yo-

rubaland?” MURIC described the matter as a ‘coup against Muslims’, saying that the committee was on its own. “We reject its deliberations and whatever the outcome may have been. For it to be credible and relevant, it must convene another meeting where muslims will be well represented. “Why was the attendance heavily tainted with christian clerics? A prominent pastor was there with a bishop and an archbishop, whereas there was no single imam. Where are the imams and Sheikhs of Yorubaland?,” MURIC inquired. It explained further that Alhaji Abdul Azeez Arisekola Alao, the Aare Mu-

sulumi of Yorubaland and Vice President-General, South West of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, is the undisputable leader of Muslims in Yorubaland. “Any meeting of Yoruba leaders without his presence is a charade. At least the likes of Professor Daud Noibi, Executive Secretary of the Muslim Ummah of South-West Nigeria , MUSWEN, Sheikh Zughlool, founder and proprietor of Daar ad-Da’wah, Isolo, Lagos and Sheikh Habeebullahi Al-Ilori of Markaz, Agege should be there as they are renowned Islamic clerics and they would have balanced the list and made it acceptable,” the group said.

Members of Odo Onasa Royal Family of Ikosi Ejirin Local Council Development Authority of Lagos State protesting the invasion of their land by grabbers at the Lagos House of Assembly in Ikeja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

We’re not under FoI Act, says Lagos govt KAYODE KETEFE

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he Lagos State Government has told a Federal High Court in Lagos that the state is not under the operations of the Freedom of Information Act as the Act only affects the Federal Government and its institutions. This disclosure was made in a counter-affidavit (deposed to by a counsel in the Civil Litigation Department of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Toluwanimi Odupitan), which the state government filed to a suit instituted by a Lagos based non-governmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Projects, SERAP.

SERAP had instituted the suit against Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola and the Attorney-General of the state. Adetoro Ipaye, over alleged failure or refusal to release information and documents on spending for the past five years on furniture and other facilities in public schools in the state. But Lagos State, in its counter-afidafit, argued that since the FOI Act is a legislation of the National Assembly, it is only applicable in relation to public records of government of the federation and not the states. The state government further contended that the FOI Act was not applicable to the records of states in the federation in so far the states

had not enacted same as laws in their respective Houses of Assembly. Lagos State stated in the said counter-affidavit that: “The public records of Lagos State Government are generated and kept by various ministries, departments, agencies and personnel of the state government in execution of their functions and responsibility in the service of the state.” The government, therefore, claimed that it would not provide information and documents relating to its spending on certain projects in the education sector in the past five years as requested. The presiding judge, Justice Saliu Saidu, fixed March 20, 2014 for oral hearing of

both parties. Specifically, SERAP is praying the court to issue an order mandating the Lagos State government to release information on spending of the World Bank loan of $90 million meant to improve education in the 639 public secondary schools in the state, and details of projects carried out to improve infrastructure and facilities across primary and secondary education in Lagos State. The information being sought is with particular reference to Ewutuntun Grammar School in Mafoluku area of Oshodi; Ikeja Grammar School; Iloro Grammar School in Agege and Fagba Junior Grammar School, Iju Road.

It added: “In a nutshell, the notion of a Christian South is misleading. Islam had been in Yorubaland more than a hundred years before the British bombarded Lagos in 1851. Today, Muslims form a large majority in Yorubaland.” MURIC stated that any

attempt to take a stand among the Yoruba on the proposed National Conference without due recognition and consultation of prominent Yoruba Muslim leaders and scholars is not only an exercise in futility but also autocratic and therefore unacceptable.

Court orders EFCC to arrest oil marketer •over ‘subsidy fraud’

WALE IGBINTADE

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n Ikeja High court yesterday issued a bench warrant against an oil marketer standing trial over an alleged N979.6 million fuel subsidy fraud. The man, Seun Ogunbambo, drew the arrest over his ‘persistent refusal’ to attend court for his trial. Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, in a ruling, ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to immediately effect Ogunbanbo’s arrest without delay. Ogunbambo and Habila Theck, alongside their company, Fargo Energy Limited, are being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency. He had through his lawyer, Mobolaji Akintunde, told the court that his client had sustained a spinal cord

injury after falling from a bathtub. Akintunde told the court that Ogunbambo was presently receiving treatment at the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Yaba, Lagos. He presented a medical report signed by one retired Brigadier-General J.A. Aremu to back up his claim. But, the EFCC had accused Ogunbambo of using delay tactics to stall the commencement of his trial by claiming that he was sick. Consequently, the court directed that the validity of the medical report be verified. At the resumed hearing yesterday, EFCC’s counsel, Emmanuel Jackson, told the court that there was nothing in the report suggesting that the oil marketer was not fit to continue with his trial.

African primates bemoan rising violence FRANCIS SUBERU

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nglican primates representing the 12 provinces of the continent have expressed worry over the rising wave of violence. This position was muted yesterday when they paid they paid the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola a courtesy visit in his office, preparatory to the conference of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) commencing today in Lagos. The primates who were led by the Primate of the Anglican Communion (Nigeria), Dr. Nicolas Okoh, said the council members were in Lagos with their wives to deliberate on im-

portant issues affecting the continent, especially in respect of the crisis at the Central African Republic, CAR, Egypt and Sudan. Chairman of the council, Bishop Bernard Ntahoturi from Burundi, said the church was concerned because the gospel provide not only for the spiritual wellbeing of the people but also for their physical wellbeing. According to Bernard, “We have to discuss not only on the matter of the church, but also on the matters that affect citizens in general. The church stands for peace and our reactions and contributions to what is happening in Central African Republic, Egypt and Sudan is to continue to preach the gospel of peace.


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Homosexuality: Two NYSC members arraigned in Ibadan

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wo members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, O’tega Daniel, 27 and Sulaimon Abari, 26, were yesterday arraigned before an Ibadan Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting at Iyaganku for engaging in homosexual practices with a student. Abari, a graduate of the

Lagos State University, Ojo and O’tega were performing the national service at St. Louis Secondary School 2, Molete, Ibadan. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, report that the duo were arraigned on a three-count charge of conspiracy, procuring as well as getting hold of their victim.

The prosecutor, Police Inspector Olufemi Eyiaromi, told the court that the two accused persons conspired to commit the offence. Eyiaromi alleged that Daniel procured and got hold of the male student, took him into a room, laid him on a bed as well as caressed and orally sucked

his manhood until the minor released sperm into his mouth. He also alleged that Abari committed the same offence on the victim. The offence was said to have been committed sometime in November 2013 at Osungbade, OdoOba area of Ibadan. Eyiaromi said the

offences contravened sections 217 and 516 (A) of the Criminal Code Cap.38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State, 2000. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Chief Magistrate Kehinde Durosaro-Tijani granted each of the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000

with one blood relation as surety. She also directed that the surety must present three years tax clearance certificate, while each accused person must present his original certificate as part of the bail condition. The case was adjourned till February 25.

Ekiti procures JAMB forms for 2, 500 applicants

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he distribution of scratch cards for the procurement of forms for the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board, JAMB, by the Ekiti State government yesterday brightened the hope of some 2, 500 students with academic requirements for admission into higher institutions. Beneficiaries of the gesture are out-of-school youths and repeaters who were registered by the Agency for Adult and NonFormal Education, AANFE, an agency of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology - to retake the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations, SSSCE, supervised by the West African School Examination, WAEC, board and the National Examination Council, NECO. State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who flagged off the distribution of the free JAMB e-registration scratch cards at Olaoluwa Grammar School, Ado-Ekiti, said the gesture will assist students with six credits, including Mathematics and English Language, to pursue a course of study in the various universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. Besides, the governor said it will take the financial burden off the shoulders of the parents and guardians of the beneficiaries.

Represented by his Deputy, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, the governor described the programme as a demonstration of his administration’s determination to ensure equal opportunity and education for all and for Ekiti to keep its record as the state with the least number of out-of-school children in the country. He restated that his administration will not in any way toy with the development and training of youths, who he described as the future of the state. The governor enjoined the beneficiaries to gainfully utilise the opportunity of the free JAMB/UTME registration to secure admission into any of the tertiary institutions within and outside the country. In his remarks, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Kehinde Ojo, said the programme has offered hardworking youths a second chance to attain their dreams of pursuing higher educational qualifications. According to him, since inception, the Fayemi administration has encouraged youths to pursue higher educational qualifications by purchasing and distributing JAMB forms to qualified admission seekers in the state, without ethnic and political consideration.

L-R: 103-year-old social security beneficiary, Madam Aliatu Animashaun; Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; his wife, Erelu Bisi and Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, during the 49th birthday anniversary reception for Fayemi in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend.

Fashola harps on importance of safety, security FRANCIS SUBERU

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agos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday harped on the importance of safety and security to effective running of businesses in the metropolis, urging everyone to get involved. The governor said this while receiving members of the Lebanese-Nigeria Initiative who paid him a courtesy visit in his office, where they make a donation of N80 million to the state government under the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, LSSTF, initiative and presented two 30-troop carrier Man Diesel trucks, 2014 model, for security surveillance. The Lebanese-Nigeria

Initiative comprised of Lebanese nationals who are doing business in Lagos, Nigeria, they were led by the Consular General, Ms. Dimma Adan. Fashola, who thanked the Lebanese business community for the donations, said security issues should be everyone’s concern, even as he urged the Lebanese community to constantly provide for safety in their business environments. He said: “I must commend you for this donation because despite that you are not Nigerians in the primary sense of it; you have shown a lot of commitment to the country and its security situation. Security starts from each and every one of us. “I want to urge you that

you should be vigilant and safety conscious in all that you do. Safety should be a priority in your businesses. “Most businesses that have high standard for safety record zero accident even for years and that is the standard I want us to maintain here. “There are people you employ to work with you, apart from making the environment safe; you must educate them to be security conscious, because the first level of security begins with you. There is nothing stopping you from installing CCTVs in your business environments. It will help us the more to secure the environment.” Earlier in her address, the Lebanon Consular General, Ms. Dimma

Adan, said the donation was a token of their appreciation to the Lagos State government for allowing them do business in Nigeria and in the state under a very peaceful atmosphere. She commended Governor Fashola for his efforts at making the state better and secure for business activities, even as she prayed for the administration’s success. It will be recalled that the Lebanese-Nigeria Initiative had during the seventh town hall meetings on security, promised to make a donation of N80 million as way of contributing to the security of the state under the Lagos State Security Trust Funds, LSSTF.

Bola Ige: Court adjourns Omisore’s suit till Feb 17 KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan yesterday fixed February 17 for the adoption of addresses in a N20 billion suit instituted by Otunba Iyiola Omisore, for his prosecution over

the murder of the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige. Defendants in the case are the Oyo State government, the state AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner of Justice as well as the Inspector-General of Police. Omisore through his

counsel, Prince Albert Abiodun Adeogun, prayed the court to among others, hold that his detention and subsequent prosecution in respect of the murder of Ige was done out of malice. According to him, the trial was not based on the proof of evidence but rather by extra-judicial state-

ments made by the prosecution witnesses. At the hearing of the case yesterday, counsel to the defendants, Mrs. Funke Fawole, for the police and Mr. I. O. Tijani, for Oyo State government, applied for adjournment. Tijani said he wanted to file an additional ground

of appeal to his earlier application while Fawole also informed the court that she has filed her motion on notice, adding that she wanted to amend her application and later move the first leg of the first application. Adeogun, counsel for the plaintiff told the court that

he has no objection to the prayers of his colleague. The presiding judge, Justice Abimbola Adejumo-Obaseki, while adjourning the case advised the counsel to exchange phone numbers in order to ease communication so as to help in disposing of the case without undue delay.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South East

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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New group to champion Igbo interest emerges CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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L-R: Vivian Nwandu; Anambra State Governor Peter Obi; Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol; Mrs. Berverly Nkemdiche Ikpeazu (second right) and Vivian Okadigbo, at the presentation of a cheque of N5billion by the governor to Prof. Chinyere Okunna for MDGs projects in Anambra State.

Suspected kidnappers of two APC registration officers arrested ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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he Ebonyi State Police Command has arrested two suspects who allegedly kidnapped two All Progressives Congress (APC) registration officers at Umuezekeoha in Ezza North Local Government Area of the state. The suspects are Okey Ogbu and Friday Onuegbe. The two victims - Mr. Donatus Omenyi and Chief Moses Anyigor - regained their freedom on Sunday evening without ransom. Addressing journalists yesterday in Abakaliki, the state capital, the Police

Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Chris Anyanwu, said the two suspects were arrested along the Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway with an official vehicle of the Ezza North Local Government. National Mirror gathered that one of the suspects, Okey Ogbu, was the younger brother to the local government chairman. Anyanwu said the suspects’ four accomplices were still at large, adding that detectives would intensify effort to arrest them. Items recovered from the suspects included the local government vehicle, a bag containing credentials

of one of them and some APC property. The police spokesman said: “Following a tip-off, our men trailed the suspects and arrested them along the Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway. The suspects were arrested with a vehicle belonging to Ezza North Local Government Area. “The suspects are currently in our custody and they are helping our men in their investigation. By the time the investigation is concluded, we will be able to ascertain the remote and immediate cause of the kidnap. “We must not rule out a possible political tussle between the APC and Peoples

Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. We want to warn political parties to carry out their activities diligently without molestation and harassment of any individual. “We will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute any individual trying to cause political crisis in Ebonyi. People should be allowed to express their interest without harassment and intimidation”. But efforts to get the reaction of the Chairman of Ezza North Local Government Area, Mr. Jeff Ogbu, failed as he was still at the state police headquarters as at the time of filling this report.

FG plans two power transmission stations for Ebonyi

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he Federal Government has said that it would build two transmission stations in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, to enhance power delivery in the city. The General Manager (Transmission), Enugu

Elechi

Transmission Region, Mr. Geoffrey Nwokoye, made this known when he paid a courtesy call on the state governor, Chief Martin Elechi, in Abakaliki yesterday. Nwokoye said that the 2x 150MVA 330/132KV and 2x 60 MVA 132/33KV power stations would stimulate more economic activities in the state. He said: “When the stations are completed, it will create employment opportunities to youths and improve the overall well being of the people.” Nwokoye said that a stable power supply was pivotal to the socioeconomic development and stability

of any nation and people. “At present, Ebonyi with some parts of Cross River states, are supplied electric power via a 132KV transmission line from Enugu and this is prone to interruptions. “A 330KV system at the state capital would definitely guarantee a more stable and quality power at the state capital, even at the worst level of generation,” he said. Nwokoye, therefore, appealed to the governor to allocate the company a suitable portion of land to construct the power stations. He commended the cooperation and assistance

of the state government to the company, adding that the company was poised to serve the state creditably. In his response, Elechi said he was elated over the plan to build the power stations in Abakaliki. He, however, said that the state government would give the company a plot of land for the project. The governor said: “I advise speedy completion of the project within the shortest time so as to avert the persistent problem of power supply, distribution and over billings of customers in the state.”

s the 2015 general elections approache, a new Igbo group, Odenigbo Peoples Assembly (OPA), has emerged. The OPA, which major aim is to protect Igbo interests, is led by Chief Kelechukwu Chidiadi. In a statement made available to journalists in Awka, shortly after its inauguration, OPA called on Ndigbo to rise and speak with one voice so as to advance their economic, social and political wellbeing in Nigeria. Speaking during the inaugural meeting, Chidiadi insisted that there was need to focus on the promotion of Igbo interests

in Nigeria. He regretted that Ndigbo had not been adequately represented in all spheres of the national life, despite their unequalled contributions to the progress of the country. The OPA leader said: “The group will tirelessly work for the interests of Ndigbo in the South-East and the South-South geopolitical zones, both for their development and the progress and stability of Nigeria.” Chidiadi said that the group had already received the support of some Igbo leaders and traditional rulers, adding that consultations were on to get the support of other relevant stakeholders.

‘Collapse of value system, bane of varsity administration’ CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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he Deputy Registrar/Coordinator, Centre for Agriculture Research (CAR), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Alhaji M. Ahmed, has attributed unethical practices among administrators in the nation’s tertiary institutions to the disintegration of value system. The deputy registrar, in a lecture entitled: “Administrative procedures, work ethics and confidentiality” presented at a training workshop with the theme: “Ethical Re-orientation and Capacity-building for Effective and Efficient Service Delivery” organised by the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) for administrative, executive

and secretarial staff, described the registry as the custodian of all university rules and regulations. He regretted that the disintegration of the value system in the nation’s universities had taken toll on the registry where great impact is made on the strategic direction of behaviour and management of the university process and structure. In his own paper entitled: “Understanding the University Act, Statute and Regulations: Tonic for Effective and Efficient Service Delivery,” Mr. Herbert Mezieobi, a lawyer, described university as a complex organisational entity which places a constant demand on the operators to be regularly update themselves in order to be relevant and result-oriented.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

UN to cede Obudu Cattle Ranch, five LGs to Cameroun RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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he Cross River State Government may receive another punch by the United Nations Boundary officials who are currently perfecting plan to cede the Obudu Cattle Ranch and other five local governments to neighbouring Cameroun if urgent steps are not taken by the Federal Government to stop the development. This is just as the state

is still grappling with the pain of losing its oil rich Bakassi Penisulla to Cameroun 11 years ago. The likely affected local governments are Obanliku, Boki, Ikom, Etung and Akamkpa, as some NU officials have already been drafted to the areas to demarcate borders as provided by the International Court Judge (ICJ) judegment. The new borders, as mapped out, may cede the Obudu Cattle Ranch to Cameroun.

Camerounian authorities were alleged to have connived with the UN officials to shift the borders into the hinterlands of some villages in Cross River State. A leader from Danere, who identified himself as Chief Ojua Bisong, the borders were shifted in breach of the Green Tree Agreement signed between Nigeria and Cameroun to protect the rights of Nigerians living on coastal zone. Bisong claimed that the

ICJ judgement had not been signed into law by the National Assembly for domestication. He, however, called on the ICJ to prevail on the Cameroun Government to respect the United Nations charter on border issues. When contacted, the Chairman of the Cross River State Border Commission, Mr. Leo Aggery, confirmed the development, saying he had already received petitions from the affected com-

munities, but was constrained not to take any action as the matter was under the jurisdiction of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham. Former House of Assembly member representing Boki Constituency II and past Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Hon. Cletus Obun, also confirmed the issue, accusing the Federal Government and the United Nations of being insensitive to plight of the Nige-

ria border communities. Obun said: “The Cameroonians have taken siege of the affected communities since the past two week, but the youths of the areas were mobilised to ward off the invader, while petitions have been written to state and Federal Governments.” Effort to speak with the Chief Security Adviser to the state Governor, Mr. Rekpene Bassey, did not yield any result as he said he was driving and so could not grant interview.

PDP’ll lose grip of Edo Central in 2015 –APC chieftain SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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Wife of Rivers State Governor, Mrs. Judith Amaechi and her husband, Chibuike Amaechi, displaying their registration slips as members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at Ubima, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Why we won’t read defection letter –Senator SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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s the Senate resumes today to continue the search for the Nigeria’s missing $20 billion oil money, the representative of Edo Central Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Odion Ugbesia, has given an indication that the much awaited letter of defection before the Senate President, Senator David Mark, may yet be deferred. Ugbesia said that as a pre-condition for the letter to be read on the floor of the Senate, the 11 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-elected Senators must first withdraw the case they were pursuing

in court. The case was ostensibly initiated to stop the party from declaring the defectors’ seats vacant. Ugbesia, who has been representing Edo Central District at the Senate since 2007, spoke at the weekend after commissioning a health centre in Ubiaja. The health centre was commissioned by the state PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, before he handed it over to the Chief Medical Director of Irruah Specialist Hospital. The commissioning was attended by many PDP supporters, including officials elected on the party platform. Ugbesia said: “The Senate could not read the letter of defection last

week because it would be sub-judicial as the same issue was already the subject of litigation.” He said the comprehensive health centre was equipped with beds, modern medical facilities, borehole and gate house, adding that the health centre had been approved by the Presidency as an annex of Irruah Specialist Hospital. Ugbesia also commissioned 20 units of MTN-branded teacher’s tables, chairs with 40 laptops at Sacred Heart Girls’ Model College at Ubiaja and a solar powered Information Communication Technology (ICT) laboratory and internet facilities at Ideal

Secondary School in Irruah with about 47 laptops. Asked whether the scorecard his opponents condemned as underachievement was enough to guarantee his return to Senate in 2015, he replied affirmatively.

chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Mr. Theophilus Okoh, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should bury the hope of winning Edo Central Senatorial seat during the 2015 general elections. Okoh, who is an aspirant, vowed to defeat the current occupant of the senatorial seat, Odion Ugbesia, in the 2015 poll. He also promised to ensure that APC wins all other federal elections in the senatorial district. Okoh was said to have popularly trounced Ms. Herbatta Okonofua in the defunct ACN primary election in 2011 before the party surprisingly presented Okonofua with the party ticket. But Okonofua was defeated by third term seeking Senator Ugbesia. Okoh, an indigene of Emu in Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State, spoke in Benin, the state capital, shortly after Ugbesia commissioned a health centre and two secondary

school computer laboratory centres in Ubiaja and Irruah communities during which he boasted that his road to the Senate in 2015 was smooth even as people were already asking him to seek re-election. Agreeing that PDP was more organised and stronger in Edo Central District compared to the two other districts in the state, Okoh said recent election results and the massive turnout that heralded the APC nationwide registration had shown that PDP was fast losing grip of the district. He said: “In Edo Central, the registration was peaceful without any incidence of violence and the turnout was large. In most of the units, each of which had 100 cards allocated party cards, we ran out of cards. What you called clashes of factions and groups in some places happened because there was a vacuum. But they have come together. And now that they have registered, let us see what will happen as the congress is coming up.”

FG’s produce cargo initiative on course –Minister JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

M

inister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, yesterday said that the fresh produce transformation initiative of President Goodluck Jonathan was on course. According her, the initiative was designed

to unlock the potential of Nigeria to exploit the multibillion global trade volume for the benefit of the country. The minister, who spoke during a courtesy call on Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang at the Government House in Jos, said the Federal Government had set up a committee to ensure the success of the initiative.

She said: We want to ensure that we grow rural economy using aviation as the driving force. “We want to create commerce between states. We want to use this particular initiative as job creation to ensure that our rural women are empowered and most importantly, we want to industrialise our rural areas.


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SUPER TUESDAY

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Politics

Round two of budget war as Reps resume today

Nigeria no longer mere extension of North’s private feudal estate –Babatope

14, 15

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2015: Jonathan/Sambo ticket, uneasy calm in the North over presidency AZA MSUE chronicles the hurdles ahead of the Jonathan/ Sambo ticket ahead of the 2015 presidential election and the emerging political events over Northern agitation for the return of presidency to North.

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s Nigerians wait to see how goodluck will deliver President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 if he seeks election ahead of tense political activities, while waiting for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s whistle to officially commence campaign, many who think the resignation of former National chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bamanga Tukur, has brought to an end the anger and lamentations in the ruling party, are making mistakes, as another round of crisis is gathering to appear on the political scene. The pro and anti Jonathan/Sambo forces in the North are emerging almost on daily basis to outdo one another as defections and counter defections among politicians in the region continued. Another contending issue is the argument among political gladiators within the PDP, especially in the North West on whether or not Vice President Namadi Sambo will run a joint ticket with his boss in 2015 election. Though, Sambo has remained silent despite the calculations and scheming by some Northern elites for and against his return as President Jonathan’s running mate, the anti-Sambo moves were said to be orchestrated by the Katsina State governor, Ibrahim Shema, who was allegedly accused of plotting to replace Sambo.

Bayelsa delegation’s visit to Sambo, a settle matter? It seems Sambo’s return on a joint ticket with President Jonathan in 2015 has being sealed following the visit by a delegation from Bayelsa State, led by Governor Seriake Dickso,n who commended the Vice President for his total and unwavering loyalty to their son, President Jonathan. The delegation, which met the vice president in his office at the State House, Abuja, had prominent Bayelsa citizens among them. Sambo, who assured them of his unflinching loyalty to President Jonathan,

Jonathan

Sambo

TOP STORY said the confidence he receives from the president encourages him to do even more. He said: “I want to assure you that I will personally continue to give my full support and loyalty to Mr. President. I also assure you that we will not allow anything to detract us. The Transformation Agenda of Mr. President is well on track. We will continue to work in the interest of Nigeria; we will continue to work as patriotic Nigerians and we will

ensure that we deliver dividends of democracy to Nigerians.” Earlier the leader of the delegation and the governor of Bayelsa State, Dickson, had disclosed that they were in the State House to express the unanimous appreciation of all Bayelsans to the Vice President for his commitment, selfless dedication and transparent loyalty to President Jonathan.

Pro Jonathan/Sambo new Northern group Apparently in a move to checkmate the opposition of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, and the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, to President Jonathan’s second term ambition, another group

THE PRO AND ANTI JONATHAN/SAMBO FORCES IN THE NORTH ARE EMERGING ALMOST ON DAILY BASIS TO OUTDO ONE ANOTHER AS DEFECTIONS AND COUNTER DEFECTIONS AMONG POLITICIANS IN THE REGION CONTINUED

known as the Northern Elders Council, NEC, has emerged, declaring its support and commitment to work for the success of Jonathan and Sambo. The group which is led by an elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, is believed to be sponsored by Vice President Sambo to counter the perceived belligerent attitude of the NEF and the ACF who have been insisting on power-shift to the North come 2015. Speaking at the inauguration of NEC at the Arewa House in Kaduna recently, Yakasai said NEC was established to protect the socio economic and political interest of the North as well ensure the corporate existence and stability of the Nigerian nation. He noted that tremendous progress had been made towards establishing a stable democratic order in Nigeria, declaring that his group will work with all Nigerians who wish to ensure that the machinations of anti-democratic forces are frustrated. Yakasai explained further that NEC was formed because “we understand that some people want to cause confusion in this country. We don’t want confusion in this country. So we set up this association to ensure that there is peace in Nigeria CONTINUED ON PAGE 41


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Nigeria no longer mere extension of North’s An interview with Chief Ebenezer Babatope, an Awoist, and former Aviation Minister is usually a delight. In this chat with OBIORA IFOH, he delves into the forth coming National Conference, politics of defection and of course South West politics. Excerpts: A good number of Nigerians are worried about the modalities put in place for the conduct of the National Conference, what is really wrong with the process? Well, I am not talking because I am a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, but I think that the President has done very well by bringing out those modalities. If you go through the modalities step by step, you will discover that care has been taken not to offend the sensibilities of Nigerians. It is a very important conference which will decide so many things for Nigeria. We are not going to break up. Nigeria is a multi religious country and we have many traditions and apparently, we must have a conference that in the end will bring out fundamental facts about these relationships that guide us. We are having Boko Haram today and by the time we are through with this conference, I hope and pray that Boko Haram will be a thing of the past. Most of the things that created Boko Haram will be discussed by the conference. So it is good, we are not going to have contest for power for those who are going to go there, because that would destroy the conference. The nationalities have been taken care of that and at the end, those who are going to come to the conference, I’m very sure those the President will nominate will form the core of those who will be there. So if anybody has no business at the conference, then there is no need for such to go there. They will sit down and talk about Nigeria, Nigeria is very important and it is coming at a particular time in the history of Nigeria when we are celebrating 100 years of our existence. So the conference should be supported because, it is going to guarantee a very good future for Nigeria. Like the previous exercise, is it right for government to be nominating majority of the participants to the conference? Even though, I have not read the mind of the president, I am very sure and history will justified what I have said that the President will also ensure that many of the people who will represent sensitive interests of the country would be nominated for the conference. There is no point to do it on senatorial basis or to go contesting election. There are many people who will be crucial to that conference who will not have money to go to elections for that conference. You must take note of that, because to vie for anything in Nigeria today, if you are not supported by money-power, you are wasting your time. I have no doubt in my mind, given the examples President Jonathan has shown over the years and given his kind of feelings for the ordinary man, many people who will never ever be

Babatope

able to get themselves in the conference through elections will be there. Is it also proper not to have no go areas? I think that the principal no go area that the government must emphasis is the continued existence of the country. There is no point saying go and discuss whether Nigeria should exist or not, no, that is the principal no go area. I covered the national conference of Benin Republic for Nigerian Tribune in the 90s and Matthew Kerekou got a priest to head the convention and at the end, everything went well and Kerekou won the election afterwards and those who were bent on Kerekou not returning to power ate their words. So, I believe that the no go area Nigeria must emphasis is that we must not break. But what of in a situation where Nigerians say we must break? Those who will say we want to break would be those elements that are already killing innocent people. We have already conquered one vital problem in the history of this nation. There was a time in this country when a group of elements from the North believed that the country is merely an extension of their private feudal coffers and that nobody can aspire for leadership. But by the unanimous act of the Nigerian people, Nigerians are now allowing others from other parts to rule. Obasanjo was the President of this country, from the South-West. We have Goodluck Jonathan from the South-South, ruling. With this

I THINK THAT THE PRINCIPAL NO GO AREA THAT THE GOVERNMENT MUST EMPHASIS IS THE

CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF THE COUNTRY... THE

NO GO AREA NIGERIA MUST EMPHASIS IS THAT WE MUST NOT BREAK fact that rulership can come from any part of the country we should now be talking of improving the living standard of Nigerians, consolidating on our unity as a federation and ensuring that our federation remains one of the few federalism that has succeeded in the continent. What of in an instance that a section of the country has continued to endure marginalisation and wants to opt out? I have passed through many years of political turmoil in this country, I have been to jail four times and I can assure you, that it has not gotten to that. During the time of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, I was among those clamouring that this country should break up, because Chief Awolowo was not allowed to rule this country. Three times, he was rejected and the Northerners would always come up to say that they must provide leadership. Nobody in this country today can come chest up to say ‘my area is the privileged area’, nobody, it can’t hap-

pen again. Because like I always tell people, your generation is quite different from my own generation. We couldn’t take to guns but your generation has taken to guns. So I can assure you that the talk of secession is not there. All the areas that have created problems in Nigeria will be brought to the conference and there must be greater respect for the national question and that conference is going to solve it. It is true that we all came from different cultural and religious background but we must harness all these in the conference and ensure that when we come out with a document embodying the activities and resolution of the conference, Nigeria would have moved forward many many years. Are you now regretting your earlier call for a break up? I am not regretting because at that time when we did it, we were right but now we have been consumed by the new spirit. And that is why I always call on the soldiers, they


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Politics

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

private feudal estate –Babatope are doing a good job but try not to plan coup, because if they do, the younger ones, the Yandaba, the OPC, Niger Delta militants, they will carry guns and go after them and the soldiers cannot tame the arms struggle. The younger elements are now telling the soldiers that they are not the only people that have exclusive preserve of arms. There are arms everywhere now, just go to Niger Delta, can you count the number of arms there? In the South West, it is OPC that guard people there. In fact as I talk to you now, OPC is now guarding my house with Police, so what are you saying. The new chairman of the PDP said recently that the morale of the members has been very low, how do you reenergise the PDP, particularly in the South-West? The South-West is a different ball game. We lost the South-West because we, the leaders in the zone were not united. Present a team that is not united, the South-West electorate will not only discipline you, they will rout you. He Alliance for Democracy, AD did it, they lost to us. We came to power in the South-West because of the mismanagement of the AD by their leaders. The PDP lost the South-West because we were disunited; look at Osun State, we lost it because we were not united at that time. Look at Oyo State, the number of PDP members in Oyo State House of Assembly far outnumbered that of the All progressives Congress, APC. Accord Party lawmakers all came from PDP and went and formed their own party. So when you put the Assembly members together, we are majority in the place. Look at Ogun State, we have as many as about four factions in Ogun State, how can we win? So, for the South-West to win, the leaders are putting their heads together to ensure that we have unity which will lead to cohesion of the party and once we guarantee the unity, we are going to win. We have Ekiti and Osun elections coming and we do hope that all the things we are doing and we are going to do will help our party to ensure we gain victories in those places. But for the morale of our members, it is those of us at the top who are quarrelling, the people are watching us. The members are going to come out when the elections come because elections are festivals of politicians. But some of us who are leaders must ensure we give good leadership and good examples, but I am so sure that all these things are mere passing phases in the life of the party. Eventually, PDP will get over these problems. We are happy that we are having the problems now before we approach the elections in 2015; the APC is going to destroy itself. Presently now, it is enjoying all the media presentations particularly on defection but their own is coming very soon. When the ambitions of their leaders and other members come to the fore, you will find out that the APC is not the party that all of you think. Atiku Abubakar has gone to join them, I am very sorry about Atiku. I use to like him, he even married Titi, who is from my town and he will have the sympathy of Ijesha people. He has left indelible mark in the minds of politicians and it is difficult to find such a man.

A young man at his age? He is a young man, he is 64 and the next election he will be 69. These days, when you talk of people in the uppermost echelon of power, people at 70 can still be considered. Believe me Atiku is one Nigerian who would have had the support of many Nigerians if he had waited. He has gone to the APC and that is why I said I am so sorry for him. But what did you expect him to do when he had been alienated from statutory organs of the PDP? They don’t invite him to NEC, BoT and other functions. What happened is this, Atiku joined another party and the PDP came out with a measure. I was there at the BoT meeting when the BoT said; all of them who went to other parties could not come back fully into the party. This very year 2014, Atiku’s membership of all these organs would have reinstated. He joined another party, but I can tell you Atiku and all others who belong to his group would have been readmitted fully, latest by the end of March. But I am blaming him, why does he need to rush? Because he has fallen into a booby trap. Some of your friends are wondering what you, a follower of Awolowo, was doing in the PDP? Is the APC an Awolowo party? Even when they were Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, was it an Awolowo party? Papa Awolowo made a prediction and I say it with pride. I was in Awolowo organisation, in Abeokuta, the last convention of the party; the thesis and the antithesis theory, he said there would come a time in the history of this country when the best of all the political parties at that time will merge together and those that are opposed to them will also merge together. We are seeing the process of the thesis and antithesis. The defunct ACN as at that time cannot chest out to say that it was an offshoot of Awolowo. If the APC claims it is an offshoot of Awolowo, The Nation newspaper started attacking Mama H.I.D Awolowo, the matriarch of the Awolowo family. So, if that paper is a pro-Awolowo paper, would that happen?

I know that anyone has the right to write whatever he wants to write but if you have political alliances, you stick to that. For example, Bisi Akande, the leader of APC is my friend, we worked together in the UPN and I cannot find myself attacking him in the open because I am PDP. Or attacking Segun Osoba or others that were with me in the UPN, it would be stupid of me. Would Awolowo, if he were to be alive, be in the PDP? Papa told us clearly that 1983 would be his last participation in any electoral contest. So Papa definitely, if he were to be alive, will not belong to any party. Are you saying that the coming together of political players from the South West and the North in the formation of APC is in fulfilment of Awolowo’s prediction? No, that is not what I am saying, though, I cannot close my eyes to that factor. Like I said, I was the Director of Organisation for defunct UPN; we also sought the friendship and support of the North at that time. We did, but that is a different matter. I cannot wrong APC for running to the people in the North to come and join them, we also in the PDP, we are doing the same. Ibrahim Shekarau and Attahiru Bafarawa are now with us and we are going to get many more of their people who are fundamentally opposed to the crude opportunistic thing that is going on now in the APC. That is not what we are talking about. It is in term of political association, political formation. Politics is not a game of rub my back, I rub yours, it is a fundamental game by which people seek for power and therefore, those who have made up their mind to seek for power on behalf of the people are people who have made up their minds to work together. What is your party doing to ensure that none of your remaining governors defect again? No governor will defect; in fact, it is quite shocking that Nigerian people are forgetting the fact these things we are seeing started from 2011 elections. In 2011 elections, the PDP lost presidential elections in many of the states where these young

OBASANJO IS ONE OF THE FEW AFRICAN LEADERS WHO POSSESS A RARE CONTROL OF

NATIVE INTELLIGENCE...

BURUJI IS A HUMAN BEING, GOOD LUCK TO HIM, BUT HE

CANNOT SAY THAT HE IS LEADING ME IN THE

PDP

Babatope

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men who have gone, come from. They won their governorship for the PDP but we lost the presidency. In Jigawa for example, my friend Sule Lamido lost, we lost in Sokoto State, we lost in Niger. So the worst they can do to us, if they have the power is to recreate those electoral defects but the PDP has also got democratic powers and influences to ensure that we maintain a sensible 25 percent balance in all these states. Like I said, I don’t want to talk about our plans for the elections, but we will confront them. In 2011, we lost most of their states, it is only now that Rotimi Amaechi said that he has joined them from Rivers State, but let’s wait till then and we will know who really has the power there; if it is Amaechi that can control the people, good luck to him. And when you talk of Kwara State, the young men there led by Bukola Saraki are saying that they are of the APC but eventually we will see what happens. Still on South West, the Oyinlola issue is still unresolved; there is also the Obasanjo, Kashamu Buruji imbroglio. How will the zone resolve all these crises on time to face the 2015 general election? The South-West will definitely surmount all these problems. I told you that we are trying very much to be united and the leadership of the South-West is now working together. Talking of Olagunsoye Oyinlola, I have nothing against him, nothing and I will not join anybody saying he will not return to the party to play whatever role God has chosen him to play, but he is the one who has got to explain what has happened. He went to court after his removal as the secretary of the party and as a result of his court action; the PDP stopped the election of secretary. I wanted to be secretary, but the PDP said the matter is in court and we are not going to have any election for secretary. He left and joined some other people to announce what they called new PDP. But again, these are my personal views, if tomorrow; the party says Oyinlola come back, fine, because the party is supreme. I will raise no objection against it but I am only trying to draw your attention to all these factors that are very crucial, he participated in the new PDP as their secretary to a reasonable extent of time. On Obasanjo and Buruji, Obasanjo was a former head of Nigeria; I wish him the best of luck. I respect him but politically, I don’t agree with him. We are both in PDP, but we belong to different formation in the party. I am not in Obasanjo’s camp, I am an Awoist in the PDP, so he can do whatever he wants to do. Whatever happens in Ogun State is his problem, but we are definitively going to harness them together. We cannot close our eyes to Obasanjo. Obasanjo is one of the few African leaders who possess a rare control of native intelligence. So, you cannot just dismiss him, but whatever happens to him in his state, let him go and mind it. Buruji is a human being, good luck to him, but he cannot say that he is leading me in the PDP. He can’t say that. Thirdly, don’t forget Olabode Goerge is back and anybody who wants to talk in terms of South-West politics and does not take into reckoning the issue of George, is wasting his time. Whether you like it or not, George’s leadership will provide the missing nexus in the South-West and he is going to galvanise us into greater results in the zone. That is why some people wanted to get him out.


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As Council of State endorses national confab

ASO ROCK FILE

T

with

Rotimi FADEYI

Jonathan, ambassadors and Nigeria’s image C onsidering the fact that the image of a nation is very important to the international community, President Goodluck Jonathan has urged foreign ambassadors serving in Nigeria to do their best to convey the positive realities of the country to the world. Speaking at an audience with the outgoing Italian ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Roberto Colamine at the Presidential Villa, Jonathan said that by doing so, the envoys would help in correcting current misconceptions and adverse misrepresentations of the country.

Presidential Villa’s visitors 1.

President of Guinea Bissau, Manuel Serifo Mhamadjo 2. Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon 3. Former President Shehu Shagari 4. Former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida 5. Former Head of Interim National Government, ING, Chief Ernest Shonekan 6. Former Head of State, General Abdusalami Abubakar 7. Senate President, Senator David Mark 8. Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal 9. Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabubdu BAdeh 10. Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenat General Kenneth Tobi Minimah 11. Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin 12. Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Ademola Nunayon Amosu

“The knowledge you have acquired here should be used positively to help us as you go back home”, the President told the ambassador. Specifically, the President noted the ambassador’s facilitation of the training of some former Niger Delta militants in Italy as part of the Amnesty Programme, which, he said, had helped to restore relative peace and security to the region. In his own remarks, Colamine said that he had witnessed challenging political transitions in the country during his more than four-year tenure, but was glad to see the issues constitutionally resolved. He also commended Jonathan for Nigeria’s continuing leadership role in Africa as well as its efforts to promote peace, political stability and democracy in all parts of the continent.

he proposal by President Goodluck Jonathan in his nationwide broadcast to the nation on October 1, 2013 during the 53rd independence anniversary to convoke a national conference, has been hailed by many who see it as an opportunity to discuss the future of the country and how the various ethnic groups in the country can live in peace and harmony. However, others, particularly those in opposition kicked against the proposal, saying government was not serious about such idea, rather they proposed a sovereign national conference. The matter was last week tabled before the Council of State which membership is made up of former Presidents, former military Heads of State, former Chief Justices of Nigeria, state governors, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation. At the meeting, the council endorsed the national conference; simply because it believed that the conference would be in the best interest of the country as it would further promote national unity. The council specifically urged Nigerians to actively take part in the national conference as well as the centenary cele-

Former Military President Ibrahim Babangida; former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and former Chief Justices of Nigeria, Justices Muhammadu Uwais and Alfa Belgore at the Council of State meeting at the State House.

No sleep for new service chiefs

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he new service chiefs, whose appointments were announced on January 16 converged at the Presidential Villa with members of their families last week Tuesday specifically for them to be decorated with their new ranks to reflect their present positions in the armed forces. President Goodluck Jonathan answered the call to duty as he personally decorated

the service chiefs with their new ranks after due confirmation of their appointments by the Senate in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. However, the new service chiefs have enormous task ahead, particularly with the serious security challenge from the violent and deadly Boko Haram sect The President specifically charged the new service chiefs to win the war against

Restoring peace in N’East before 2015

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s prepare for the 2015 election, there are fears that the security situation in the North-East which is presently under emergency rule may affect the conduct of elections in the area. Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega has even come out to say that it would be difficult to conduct elections in states under emergency - Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. But the new Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh has assured that

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the armed forces would leave no stone unturned to ensure that normalcy returns to the North East so that Nigerians in the affected areas can resume their normal lifestyles in order for the 2015 elections to hold in those areas. Badeh who spoke after he was decorated with his new rank said: “Our dear country is today faced with a number of security challenges, the most prominent of which are the activities of violent extremists in the North East, illegal oil bunkering and other criminality in the Niger Delta. These security challenges are inimical to

any meaningful development. “The Nigerian military and other security agencies are poised more than ever before to review and adopt more proactive measures to contain and defeat the enemies of our country so that Nigerians can go about their lawful activities in an atmosphere of peace and security. “When a nation’s military is at war, it is the whole nation that is at war. Accordingly, we must all make sacrifices here and there so that more resources could be channelled to the prosecution of the war.”

brations to mark 100 years of nationhood which kicks off later this month. The security situation in the country was also one of the issues discussed at the meeting which the members said must be tackled by ensuring necessary improvement in the strategies to win the war against terror. Although there was no former briefing on the outcome of the meeting, Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Gabriel Suswam (Benue) disclosed that the council took cognisance of the rate of insecurity across the country especially in the Northern part of the country and how to put an end to the menace Okorocha said: “We deliberated on how to move the nation forward. Basically, it is how to move the nation forward. We have to adopt some new strategies on how to improve the security. Politicians have been warned against unguarded utterances not to heat up the polity. The meeting has helped to resolve a lot of issues.” Speaking in the same vein, Suswam said: “The President briefed us about a lot of things including the impending conference that is coming up. There were a lot of contributions and the council approved it. “We were also presented with a list of the new chairman for the population commission and some new members and some to be reappointed. That too was approved; the National Security Adviser briefed us on the general security situation in the country which all members of the council contributed as to the way forward and the decisions that will be taken to address some of the security issues that are affecting the country. “The National Security Adviser briefed us that some of the unguarded statements by some prominent Nigerians that are capable of inciting people. The council took note of that and agreed that people should be more careful about what they say as public office holders.”

terror, saying they should not disappoint in ensuring adequate security of lives and property. The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh who formerly wears the rank of Air Marshal was decorated with his new rank of Air Chief Marshal, while Chief of Army Staff, Kenneth Tobia Minimah, got new rank of Lieutenant- General. The Chief of Naval Staff, Usman Jibrin was decorated with his new rank of Vice Admiral while Chief of Air Staff, Ademola Nunayon Amosu got Air Marshal rank. Jonathan said: “Whenever I am decorating military officers I commend their wives because it is not easy but the service chiefs I don’t know whether I will congratulate you or I will sympathise with you because of the circumstances of the moment.” “We must not fail this country and I believe this team will work together to be assisted by other intelligence services because the war against terror must be won in this country.”

MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-44


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Addressing the cattle grazing squabbles UGOCHUKWU UGWUANYI

R

ecently, thousands of Benue youths took to the streets of Makurdi to protest what they termed endless massacre of their people by some bloodthirsty herdsmen in the state. At about the same time, Abia State government announced it was set to establish modern grazing reserves in the state to reduce clashes between rural communities and nomadic herdsmen. From both scenarios, it can be gleaned that the menace of Fulani herdsmen is at issue. They are at it again! It doesn’t matter where grazing takes them, once they got there, these nomads always carry about as if they are in their homestead. In anywhere in the country aside theirs, they’ll lead their livestock into free wandering as if they are in Katsina or Dutse. It doesn’t cross their minds that it is people’s source of livelihood that is being toyed with. They would lead their animals to wander into crop farms. It is not only that they feast on what is planted, the plants that survive their appetite get destroyed as they tread upon them. This explains why rural farmers always get petulant whenever they see the herdsmen and their flock. Yet, all that matter to the nomads is that their animals mustn’t be starved of feeds. And why must they starve? Isn’t it for the purpose of finding feed aplenty that made them set out down south? How can it be

that after tolerating the taxing trajectory of moving down south, their hosts couldn’t even tolerate their animals encroaching one or more verdant farmsteads? Isn’t there high demand for beef in these parts? And, shouldn’t our famed African hospitality apply to animals as well? Many have suggested that since they are ignorant we should overlook their indiscretion. But if these people can be ignorant enough to the extent of tipping some natives to sell out their own people like we saw in Agatu, Benue State, then would that be a sort of ignorance that shouldn’t be ignored. Come to think of it, how can they be ignorant yet be so good at perennially planning and executing dastardly attacks that catch everyone off guard? While we hear of disturbances from the Fulani herdsmen in most parts of southern Nigeria, it appears parts of the North are not spared of this madness. The reported case of a family of seven who were killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen in an early morning raid in southern Kaduna, serves as illustration. There have also been incidents of high casualties from their operations in Plateau and Nasarawa states. Benue State seems to be the hotbed of these attacks. The very rich pastures and the availability of water in Benue make the state their centre of attraction. Virtually all parts of the state have stories to tell of the miseries these merciless herdsmen have caused them. The attackers usually come at dawn, sometimes late at night and

THE ATTACKERS

USUALLY COME AT DAWN, SOMETIMES LATE AT NIGHT AND AS SOON AS THE DAMAGE HAS BEEN PERPETRATED,

THEY WOULD RECEDE INTO NEIGHBOURING TERRITORIES…

as soon as the damage has been perpetrated, they would recede into neighbouring territories making it difficult for them to be caught. Sometime last year, Agatu community was almost sacked by these deadly herdsmen who repeatedly kept invaded the village leaving lots of death tolls in its wake. The situation was so terrible that the villagers had to desert their community, pouring into Otukpo and other neighbouring villages. This allowed the herdsmen what they have always wanted: free movement and unfettered pastures for their animals. The attackers keep succeeding because they always come through the jungle which makes it difficult for security officials to track them down. I guess we can now appropriately situate why the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) and some

students resolved to protest. Addressing journalists, the state president of YOWICAN, Daniel Peverga Dam-Ayali said: “the incessant attacks by the Fulani herdsmen have become unnecessary and it is obvious that all efforts to end the mayhem seem abortive. We want urgent and total removal of these Fulanis out of our peace loving state.” It’s a shame that these incendiary elements would let it get to this stage where they would be requested out of the state by aggrieved youths. Every Nigerian citizen should be free to conduct his or her business in any part of the country, so says our constitution. But with the terror these nomads have wrought wherever they trod, it becomes understandable when any section of our country slams a persona-non-grata on them. And when this continues to be the case, it will speed up the balkanization of our nation. That’s all the more reason why this issue shouldn’t be handled with kid gloves. Since we need both the produce of the farmers as well as that of cattlerearers, our best bet is to take a cue from the approach of Abia State government: the establishment of modern grazing reserves. This initiative is closely related to an earlier proposal submitted to the Federal Government by Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, which sought the creation of designated grazing areas across the country. Ugochukwu can be reached through ug.ugovester@gmail.com

Warped and distorted facts about Opon Imo KUNLE OYLADE

A

s a conscious adult indigene of Osun State, I have never wavered in my conviction that Senator Iyiola Omisore has no respect for facts. Anyone in doubt of his disregard for truth, especially the wisdom in the aphorism, ‘opinion is free, fact is sacred’, needs not look any further than his latest utterances regarding the electronic learning device introduced by the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola administration. The sacredness of fact in respect to the distribution of the stand-alone device means nothing to this overly desperate People’s Democratic Party politician. In a recent report in a national newspaper credited to Omisore, he stood truth on its head when he let forth the unsupportable claim that the state government had ‘distributed just 900 Opon Imo till date’. He went further to assert that ‘the project is a deceit and everybody knows this’. When his supposed truth is scanned on the screen of fact, it comes forth as untruth. At the launch of the solar-powered device last June, I remember Aregbesola explained that of the 150,000 units to be distributed to students and teachers, only 50,000 units would be imported, while the remaining 100,000 would be assembled in Osun. This point was even reiterated in the reaction of the state Commissioner for Education, Mr Sunday Akere. And just a few weeks ago, the governor commissioned

a $50 million phone factory at Ilesa, where the 100,000 units of Opon Imo would be produced. Unable to fathom the uncommon commitment of the present administration to the implementation of its promises, Omisore freely elected to distort the fact about the units of the tablet computer distributed up to date. As government and media sources revealed, 20,000 units of the learning device have been distributed to some teachers and students across different schools in the state. The state government has reportedly received the remaining 30,000 units to be distributed soon. But Omisore, inured to the self-pleasing music of his untruths, chose to disregard verifiable facts and so speciously howled that only 900 units had been distributed. Except to himself and his tiny band of admirers, he has not been able to substantiate his hollow assertion with reliable and provable facts. Omisore has continued to hammer facts on the head because he has been unable to command a considerable followership and substantial supporters through excellent performance like Aregbesola. It is on record that the introduction of the tablet computer to high school students of Osun has greatly improved their performance in public examinations like SSCE. With about 57 preloaded textbooks on 17 school subjects, Opon Imo has provided students access to relevantly current learning materials. Parents and guardians too have been relieved of the heavy financial burden of buying many of the expensive

THE PEOPLE OF OSUN WOULD RATHER RETURN A PERFORMING LEADER WHOSE PROGRAMMES HAVE MINISTERED POSITIVE CHANGES TO

THEIR SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS textbooks. It beats me hollow that Omisore wrongly believes that these parents who enjoy this kind of government intervention and even teachers who no longer have students without learning materials to teach would bond with him to deplore the state government’s programmes and initiatives as ‘fraudulent and deceitful’! Sadly, Omisore speaks falsely when in that media outing he noted that the school reclassification initiative and the mega schools springing up in different areas in Osun have negatively affected the education system of the state. In spite of the exaggerated controversy surrounding it, it must be noted that the school reclassification is one of the most commended ideas of the state government. It is a fact that the school system in Osun has undergone such transformation that makes it evidently distinguishable from the one run by the PDP government in about seven years. So then, if Omisore says the replacement of dilapi-

dated classrooms with modern ones built to internationally acclaimed standards destroys the education system, we should simply understand that his ability to appreciate quality has been taken over by his inordinate pastime for gross distortion of facts. Clearly, in matters dealing with facts, Omisore has proved a failure. Therefore, he should be informed that his mounting repulsive untruths and deliberate distortion of facts will never unlock the precious hearts of the voters in Osun to him. Not long ago when work began on GbonganAkoda road and Osogbo-Ila-Odo road, he claimed he had awarded the contracts for the same roads and paid the contractors when he was in the Senate. His capacity for untruths became laughable when he was asked to state the capacity in which he was awarding contract and making payments. The people of Osun would rather return a performing leader whose programmes have ministered positive changes to their socio-economic conditions. They won’t exchange that with the uncertain promises of a politician whose words and conducts reveal his leadership inadequacies. Oyelade wrote from Ile-Ife, Osun State. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


18

Editorial

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

All the Facts, All the Sides A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR „ PUBLISHER

KAFILAT OGBARA

„

MANAGING DIRECTOR/CEO

BANKOLE MAKINDE

„

DEPUTY MD/CEO

SEYI FASUGBA

„

DAILY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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SATURDAY EDITOR

KAYODE FASUA

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ACTING EDITOR, SUNDAY

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

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ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

FIDELIS LEMCHI OWOAMANAM

„

REGIONAL DIRECTOR, S/SOUTH

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

„

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

KING ODODORU

„

HEAD, GRAPHICS

2014 World Economic Forum T

he 2014 World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Davos, Switzerland between January 22 and 25 with the theme: ‘The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business’. In 1971, the forum was founded by Klaus Schwab, a German-born Professor of Business at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. The WEF describes itself as an independent international organisation committed to enhancing the state of the world by engaging the business, political, bureaucratic and academic elite to set global, regional and industry agenda. The meeting is convened annually to discuss business, economic, health and environmental issues. The organisation convenes about six to eight meetings each year in Latin America and East Asia; and undertakes two annual meetings in China and the United Arab Emirates. In 1973, the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate mechanism and the Arab – Israeli war led to the expansion of the forum to include economic and social issues. In 1988, Greece and Turkey signed the Davos Declaration to avert war between the two countries. At the 1994 meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres; and then PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organisation) leader, Yasser Arafat, arrived at a draft agreement on

Gaza and Jericho. Meanwhile, the Israeli-Palestinian question constitutes a major issue in the Middle East crisis. The main concerns of the WEF are international conflicts, poverty, environmental problems and their possible solutions. There are conflicts in different parts of the world that require regional and global intervention. These conflicts undermine global security. They also lead to the proliferation of arms, create social dislocation, especially for vulnerable social groups, retard development and under-develop conflict ridden areas the more. The conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), East Timor, Afghanistan, Dafur region in Sudan and South Sudan are major concerns of the WEF. The forum assists to draw global attention and exert pressure on global actors and institutions to respond to these crises. The conflict-torn areas are affected by ravaging poverty occasioned by high military expenditure, severe destruction of social infrastructure and least emphasis on anything development. There is an unsettled debate on whether poverty should be reduced or abolished. Recent flood disaters in different parts of the world typifies the magnitude of global environmental problem and underscores the relationship between poverty and the envi-

February 11, 1979 Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, was eased out of power when guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah in armed street fighting. The happened only nine days after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution, supported by various leftist and Islamic organizations, returned to the country.

IT SHOULD MAKE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL

INSTITUTIONS TO REALISE THE NEED TO RECOMMEND HUMANE AND PRO-PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES ronment. It is reassuring that the WEF proffers possible solutions to these myriad of problems. The forum’s Global Gender Gap report examines critical areas of inequality between men and women; its Global Enabling Trade Report presents a crosscountry analysis of the large number of measures facilitating trade among states; while its Global Health Initiative engage businesses in public-private partnerships to tackle HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other health challenges. The WEF also has the Environmental Initiative which examines climate change and water. In the context of the Gleneagles Dialogue on climate change, the United Kingdom government asked the WEF at the 2005 G’8 summit in Gleneagles to partner with the business community to develop ideas for reducing green

ON THIS DAY February 11, 1990 Leading South African anti-apartheid campaigner Nelson Mandela was freed from prison after 27 years. His release follows the relaxation of apartheid laws President, FW de Klerk. People danced in the streets across the country and thousands clamoured to see him at a rally in Cape Town.

house gas emissions. The Water Initiative attracts different partners like the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, USAID India, UNDP India and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) business foundation to develop publicprivate partnerships on water management in South Africa and India. The forum has been bothered about corruption and has worked on its Partnering against Corruption Initiative; a platform for peer exchange on practical experience and dilemma situations. In summary, the WEF has been active in engaging issues of regional and global concern. It has been pro-active in proffering informed solutions in the areas of management, economy, poverty, health, conflict and environment related issues. But we feel it still has more to do in the interest of humanity. The forum should, for instance, exert visible political pressure on G8 countries to foster a democratic global economic and political order that responds to the demands and aspirations of developing countries. It should make international financial institutions to realise the need to recommend humane and pro-people development strategies. The WEF should offer platforms to discuss the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which is widely believed to be against developing and underdeveloped economies.

February 11, 2009 John Dingell of Michigan became the longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was first elected on December 13, 1955 and won his 28th consecutive term in 2008. In honor of the record, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm declared February 11, 2009, to be John Dingell Day.


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FAA Category One Status: Experts express fear over Nigeria

Vehicle insurance: ‘Patronising touts no longer viable’ SUPER TUESDAY

37

Business & Finance Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Divergent views trail BoI’s intervention in SMEs In the last few years, Bank of Industry, BOI, has been at the forefront of rejuvenating the real sector of the Nigerian economy through provision of financial support services to existing and new business concerns. OLUFEMI ADEOSUN, in this report, examines its various interventions in the Small and Medium Enterprises’ sub-sector.

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Aero Contractors Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) Lag-Benin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat) 14.00 (Sun)Lag-Owe: 7.45am, 2pm daily

Med-View Airline

T

he huge potentials of Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, as the engine of growth and sustainable development have been identified all over the world. Much so for the developing economies, par-

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ticularly Nigeria, a largely agrarian country grappling with how to move away from being a mono- product economy to leveraging on the abundant resources the nation is endowed with. The SMEs, in their large number, scattered across the 36 states of the country, including, the Federal Capital, Abuja, are un-captured and greatly hampered by lack of finance to enable them make significant contribution to the country’s GDP. Not until recently, and particularly, upon the repositioning of the Bank of Industry, did we begin to witness some pockets of interventions in terms of product designs and financing. For instance, when the current Managing Director, Ms. Evelyn Oputu assumed the headship of the development finance insti-

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tution a few years ago, she announced there would be a paradigm shift in the focus and operations of the bank to give more priority to funding of SMEs and she has remained committed to it even though some analysts have argued that not much impact has been made on the real sector of the economy. While rendering its financial stewardship in Abuja recently, the Chairman, Shareholders’ Committee of BoI, Mohammed Kyari Dikwa pointed out some of the bank’s various interventions in the real sector of the Nigerian economy. According to him, in two years, the bank has disbursed N870.44 billion to the various sectors to boost the production capacities of the local manufacturers. This is besides the $500 million AfDB, fed-

Lagos- Abuja (Mon-Fri): 07.00, 08.50, 12.00, 16.30. Abuja- Lagos (Mon-Fri): 09.00, 14.00, 15.00, 18.30. Lagos-Yola (Mon-Fri): 8.50am. Yola-Lagos (Mon-Fri): 13.00. Lagos- PHC (Mon-Fri): 17.00. PHC-Lagos: 19.00. AbujaYola: 11.00. Yola-Abuja: 13.00. Lagos-Abuja (Sat): 08.00, 08.50. Abuja-Lagos (Sat): 10.00, 15.00. Lagos-PHC (Sat): 17.00. PHC-Lagos (Sat): 19.00. Lagos-Yola (Sat): 08.50. Yola-Lagos (Sat): 13.00

CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

Proliferation of professional bodies institutes assume worrying dimesion

23

Lagos woos first-time home owners with 10-year mortgage scheme

25


20

Business & Finance

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Divergent views trail BoI’s intervention in SMEs CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 eral government approved credit facility, which the bank said would soon be available for prospective industrialists as soon as all the needed processes for the release of the fund are perfected. Given the breakdown of the N870.44 billion disbursed across the various sectors of the country’s economy within the years under review, Kyari Dikwa had said while the agro-business benefitted N53.3 billion, the entertainment sector gulped N337.60 million. Other sectors that have benefitted from the bank’s loan disbursement, according to him include; Aviation, N181 billion, Textile N50.39 billion, Rice N2.8 billion, NAC fund N9.74 billion, Cement N0.719 billion and Restructuring and Refinancing Fund N229.18 billion. Apart from this, in the last two weeks, the bank has also raved up its activities in the real sector, first with the signing of an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for a N4.3 billion loan facility to support industrial and Master bakers across the country and secondly with the General Electric, GE, for a $500 rural electrification fund to support SMEs in the area of provision of necessary infrastructure to boost production. A statement issued after sealing the deal quoted the President/Chief Executive Officer of GE, Nigeria as having said, “The sectors will have access to financing for equipment and service contracts as well as management and technical training over a period of at least five years.” Perhaps in order to underscore the significance of SMEs development to the growth and sustainable development of the country’s economy, Oputu during the deal with the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina announced that the bank had committed 85 per cent of its facility to the growth of SME sub-sector. Explaining why some operators could not access the bank’s loan facilities, Oputu had said, “Being in the forefront of activities to fund SMEs, BoI is well acquainted with some of the reasons why most SMEs don’t get easy access to funds. Most times it is not because the bank is not willing to fund them but because some SMEs do not have good business bankable projects. She also said that contrary to the erroneous belief that an entrepreneur would need to have one affiliation or the other with the bank hierarchy to benefit from the loan, the only way to access the bank facility was to have a bankable proposal. She had also said while addressing a media forum in Lagos, “You don’t need insider connection to benefit from the bank’s loan; rather, all that an entrepreneur is expected to have before seeking funding support from the bank is a well – packaged bankable proposal. The bank insists on collateral for big loans because the money is not mine; it belongs to Nigerians and if you don’t pay back the loan, I’ll sell your house and recover the loan.” She however insisted that while the bank would continue to create linkages between the SMEs and the financial sector with a view to see them grow watch

Okonjo-Iweala

Oputu

Aganga

Sanusi

NOT MUCH ATTENTION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO

THE SECTOR!

SUCCESSIVE ADMINISTRATIONS

IN THE COUNTRY WHICH WOULD HAVE USED THE PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS TO DEVELOP THE

SME SECTOR

HAD FAILED TO DO IT AND THAT IS WHY ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE

GDP HAS BEEN

ABYSMALLY LOW them become sustained and globally competitive; it would only deal with serious-minded SMEs. However, National President, Association of Small Scales Agriculture Producers in Nigeria, ASSAPIN, Amina Jibrin said that despite the pride of place the group occupies in the annals of the nation’s economy, it had not received any financial aid from the bank. Jubrin in an electronic mail to our correspondent accused the bank of setting loan conditions too difficult to be met by her members. She said, “The small scale farmers are those that feed the nation, the conditions that Bank of Industry spell-out before

one access its Loan is beyond the reach of the small scale farmers. So far, none of our members individually or collectively has accessed the BoI Loan. Agriculture is critical to the transformation of the nation’s economy, because the manufacturers rely on farm produce as their sources of raw materials. “The small-scale farmers produce over 70 per cent of the raw materials required by these manufacturing industries. The small scale farming is a very important factor in the value chain cycle, but sadly it has been treated as insignificant both by government and the relevant agencies saddled with the implementation of government policies,” she said.

On ASSAPIN’s demands from BOI, she said it should simplify the conditions for accessing loan to the point that the small scale farmers can meet them, procure farm inputs and give the farmer as loans, connect small scale farmers to manufacturing industries that can support them to produce the products they require, e.g. the textiles to support cotton producers, breweries to support cereal and corn producers, and advise the federal government to respect the Maputo declaration which states that 12 per cent the sum total of the nation’s budget go to agriculture. But the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture’s President, Dr. Solomon Nyagba differed with the ASSAPIN’s boss position, contending that it would be mis leading to conclude that BoI had not made any significant impact on SMEs in Nigeria. Instead, he said the bank could only be charge to address some of the impediments associated with access loans. He said, “Bank of Industry is trying it best to expand the frontier of SMEs in the country. However, it can do more particularly in terms of making the loan long term rather than being short term. The bank also needs to address the issue of percentage charge for loan repayment”, he said. The ACCIMA boss noted that the bank should focus more on manufacturers of local products rather than importers of goods and services. He also noted that the bank must constantly decipher between genuine business concerns and those who merely wanted to take the advantage of the loan for purposes other than what it is meant for. In order to ensure that more SMEs owners have access to the bank’s loan facilities, Yagba urged the development finance bank to simply collateral procedures in such a way that ‘third parties’, who are willing to serve, as sureties are acceptable to the bank. Also, former President, Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, Dr. Simon Okolo explained that people had not felt the impact of the bank on the sector because of the large nature of the country couple with the long years of neglect. “The impacts of BoI have been made manifest on the Nigerian economy, particularly on the development of SMEs, which has been comatose due to long years of abandonment. The issue is that the country is large and this made it impossible for the back to reach all of them. “Until recently, not much attention has been given to the sector! Successive administrations in the country which would have used the proceeds from the sale of petroleum products to develop the SME sector had failed to do it and that is why its contribution to the GDP has been abysmally low,” he said. Okolo who noted that the bank would do more if it had access to more funds, canvassed for its recapitalisation, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan should as a matter of urgency bring into fruition the process of injecting more funds into the system.


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Business & Finance

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

21

SON set to review standards of cement FRANCIS EZEM

T

he Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Nigeria’s quality standardisation bureau says it has put measures in place to review quality standardisation for products in the construction industry including cement with a view to safeguarding lives and property. A coalition of civil society group and body of professionals in Nigeria’s construction indus-

try had recently accused cement manufacturers and importers in Nigeria of flooding the markets with the 32.5 grade of cement instead of the globally accepted quality, which is 42.5 and therefore threatened to launch a major campaign for the standardisation of cement production and importation. Director General of the agency, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, who spoke to business editors during an interactive forum in Lagos Monday, insisted that as a responsible

organisation, SON is committed to ensuring that the consumers get the best of quality whether in the construction industry or elsewhere. To this effect, he disclosed that the organisation has constituted a technical committee of experts to generally review the problems faced by stakeholders in the construction industry especially in terms of quality of building materials including cement. “The committee, which is made up of well-informed individuals

would take a holistic look on the quality building materials in the country inclusive of cement, as responsible standards bureau, SON has never and will never leave the quality of any product to the whims and caprices of any individual or group of operators”, the DG insisted. According to him, the issue of standardisation of products should not be left to the agency alone, arguing that it was also necessary that stakeholders and other regulatory bodies, civil society groups, manufacturers, the academia and consumers make their inputs, which partly informed the putting in place of the technical committee. “This technical committee is not chaired by SON, we just provide a secretariat and it is what the committee arrives at that would be taken to the council of SON and once it is approved, it

becomes a standard. Let me also state that a standard is not enforceable except the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment designates it as a mandatory standard,” he argued. On the controversial grades of cement, he noted that there are two grades comprising of the 32.5 and 42.5, which also have various degrees of strength, but regretted that most members of the public are not even aware of the variety in grades, standards and specific applications of cement, adding that what most people are aware are the brand names, whereas the grades standards are equally important. “This ignorance has led to the misapplication of cement by many users and for reasons of personal gain, some people may just utilise one bag when more bags are actually required”, he also said.

OPEC boosts export to oil market UDEME AKPAN

T L-R: Group Managing Director, LASACO Assurance Plc, Mr Olusola Ladipo–Ajayi; Acting Chairman, Mr. Ashim Oyekan and Acting Company Secretary, Mrs. Morayo Akinkunmi at the AGM in Lagos recently.

‘Highest biometric database resides in telecoms sector’ UDO ONYEKA

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s stakeholders in the Nigerian Economy clamour for unique identification for citizens as an important element in the payment ecosystem, Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson has said telecommunication companies, Telcos, have the highest biometric database in a country where absence of data is prevalent. According to Johnson, banks are also adopting biometric data capturing of customers in compliance to the principle of Know Your Customer, KYC; even as investment in the Nigerian telecommunications sector in the past 13 years is now worth $25billion. At the ongoing three-day annual Pan-Africa Investor Conference in Lagos, organised by Renais-

sance Capital, a leading Emerging Markets & Frontiers investment bank, the minister said there is hardly Information Technology company in the world which does not have presence in the country. She said Africa presented new opportunities for the world and Nigeria was at the crest of whatever Africa had to offer. Telecommunication was the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy, performing twice as much as the next sector – building and construction. According to her, the telecommunications sector, which is growing at 30 per cent per annum, is contributing eight per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Johnson said the strength of the Nigerian telecommunications industry could be seen in the fact that operators had staked $25 billion on the expansion of the in-

dustry in the past 13 years, adding that there were still immense opportunities for growth. Similarly, a member of the monetary policy committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Dr. Doyin Salami said unique identification has been a major challenge to credit expansion in the economy, and called for speedy implementation of every policy geared towards unique identification of every citizen. Addressing the press after the event, Igor Vayn, Renaissance Capital’s Chief Executive Officer said this year the conference is hosting around 400 guests, including 200 investors representing both global and frontier funds, along with senior management from Africa’s largest corporates, and high-level government authorities including Nigeria’s minister of Communications Technology.

he Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC will increase shipments this month to the highest level since late July to meet final winter demand from Asian refiners. The Oil Movements which made this known indicated that OPEC will bolster sailings by 730,000 barrels a day, or 3.1 percent, to 24.2 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Feb. 22, the highest level since July 27, last year. The founder of Oil Movement, Roy Mason who noted that the figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador stated, “There’s a little uptick in westbound sailings, but it’s mainly eastbound. Mason said the increase was probably provided by Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest exporter that has the capacity to produce and export commercial crude oil to the market. Global oil consumption surges during the northern hemisphere winter on demand for heating fuel, then tapers off toward the end of the first quarter as refiners

conduct seasonal maintenance. Brent futures traded near $107 a barrel in London today after falling about 8 percent in the past year. Exports from Iran, which secured some sanctions relief in a deal that, took effect on Jan. 20, probably increased to 900,000 or 1 million barrels a day in January, from 880,000 barrels a day in December, according to preliminary estimates, Mason said. Restrictions on the insurance of Iranian cargoes are temporarily eased under the terms of an accord reached in November, which requires the country to curb nuclear research. Middle Eastern exports will increase by 3.5 percent to 17.74 million barrels a day in the month to Feb. 22, compared with 17.14 million in the previous period, Oil Movements said. These figures include non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen. Crude on board tankers will rise by 3 per cent to 495.59 million barrels through Feb. 22, from 481.23 million in the previous period, data from Oil Movements show. The researcher calculates volumes by tallying tanker bookings and excludes crude held on vessels for storage.

Nigeria, others face falling business confidence –ACCA KUNLE A ZEEZ

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igeria and other countries in African are currently facing falling business confidence, according new findings from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, ACCA. The study tagged Global Eco-

nomic Conditions Surveym, GECS, was carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Management Accountants, IMA finance professionals in Africa reported continued falling business confidence. The professionals also revealed that lack of improvement in increasing business capacity building was also rife in Africa

in the last quarter of 2013. GECS is the largest regular economic survey of accountants in the world that gauges the views of ACCA and IMA finance professionals globally. Thus, the study revealed that 35 per cent of respondents in Africa reported a loss of confidence in the prospects of their

organizations over the last three months, up from 33 per cent in the third quarter of 2013. Commenting on the study, ACCA’s Senior Economic Analyst, Manos Schizas, said, getting small businesses set up and enabling them to grow in Africa will be one of the key components to ensuring healthy recovery within the continent. SMEs

are the growth engines that are fuelling African economies and creating employment. “Business opportunities have continued to fall significantly throughout Africa in the fourth quarter of 2013, ending up very far from their peak at the end of 2012. What we’re seeing are the net effects of a heavy reliance of investment from Asia.”


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Rumblings in plastics industry over special levy AYO OLESIN

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ey stakeholders in the plastic industry are as daggers drawn over the imposition of special levy on two raw materials -polypropylene and polyethylene -used to produce plastics. Local manufacturers claim that the imposition of a 5 per cent import duty and 5 per cent levy on the raw materials in January 2013, was wrongfully aimed at protecting the monopoly of supply enjoyed by Indorama-Eleme Petrochemical Limited, the only producer of copolymer in the country. Indorama on its part however claims that the local plastics companies intended to evade payment of the levy by insisting that one of the raw material listed was not affected by the new regime. The local manufacturers are

miffed that Indorama, which enjoys gas supply at a subsidised price as part of incentives to boost its productivity post privatisation had been raising its prices, such that price of polymer resin in neighbouring West African countries without petrochemical plants were cheaper than what obtains in Nigeria. They also point out that Indorama does not produce sufficient quantity of polymer resins to service the vast plastic industries in operation in Nigeria, hence the resort to importation. Apparently uncomfortable over the poor patronage of its polymer resins from the local plastic manufacturers, Indorama, in a letter dated October 3, 2013, petitioned the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, and same copied to the Chairman, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,

EFCC, alleging that 17 local plastic manufacturers have been importing polypropylene with H.S. Code 3902.1000.00 under H.S. Code 3902.3000.00, which is attached to propylene copolymer. However, a lawyer representing 17 local plastics manufacturers, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala and the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, describing the accusations of Indorama as not only false but also malicious. They also accused Indorama of using its monopoly as the sole manufacturer of Petrochemical products in Nigeria to accuse them wrongly even as it (Indorama) lacks the capacity to produce sufficient quantity needed to satisfy the local plastic industry.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Lasaco Assurance grosses N4bn premium MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Acting Chairman of LASACO Assurance Plc, Mr. Ashim Oyekan, has said the company recorded a gross premium of N4.4 billion in 2012 as against N3.9 billion that was recorded in 2011. According to him, the firm recorded a growth of 11 per cent in gross premium income over the previous year, with the group also paying N1.3 billion claims in the year under review, representing an increase of N448 million over what was paid in 2011. Speaking during the 33rd Annual General Meeting of the company held in Lagos, Oyekan said due to adjustments done in line with International Financial Reporting Standard, IFRS, that the group recorded a loss

Dana Air, British Airways entice customers with Valentine promos OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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L-R: Founder and Principal Alder Consulting, Mr. Leke Alder; Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Bella Naija, Uche Pedro; Executive Chairman, Phillip Consulting Group, Mr. Foluso Phillips and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Terragon Group Limited, Mr. Elo Umeh, at the Meet The CEO conference organised by the SME logic group in Lagos at the weekend.

Local software: NCS urges FG to curb N156bn annual losses KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he highest computer professionals’ body in the country, the Nigerian Computer Society, NCS, has challenges the Federal Government to deepen the use of local software applications to run its operations as against patronage of foreign software. The annual capital flight to software licensing, delivery services and technical support in the nation’s economy has been conservatively valued at about N156 billion according to data from the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON. As such, the NCS has called

on the Federal Government to be the change agent by ensuring that 80 per cent of its automated operations are running on locally developed software applications. The President, NCS, Prof. David Adewunmi made the call at a press conference in Lagos orgainsed to unveil the Society’s 2014 plans, saying Nigeria had capacities and qualified Information Technology skills to provide the nation’s software needs. According to him, the Federal government should to look into supporting local Software Application developers across the country by being critical about patronage of local IT solutions. He noted that a bulk of the ac-

tivities of many federal government agencies such as the Federal Inland Revenue Services, the Independent National Electoral Commission and others, centre around IT but added that if local IT professionals were being patronised, Nigeria would create huge employment opportunities from the growth of IT companies. On the activities of the body, Adewunmi outlined the plans for the year to include NCS plans towards the building of the NCS Secretariat, NCS Scholarship and Sponsorship Fund, Information Technology Jobs and Career Fair, NCS Industrial IT Park and National Information Technology Merit Awards, NITMA.

before tax of N180 million in 2012. He noted that the group within the period also grew its investment income by 34 per cent, stressing that this position reflects the group strategic direction to leverage investment income as a key revenue source. Pointing out that the growth from N249 million in 2011 to N334 million in 2012, is the immediate positive reflection of the efforts to restructure the company’s investment portfolio despite the difficult investment environment, he said in a bid to maximise the opportunities provided by Information and Communication Technology, ICT, that the firm has initiated the move to partner Interswitch Limited to enable its customers avail themselves of services, through E-commerce, including payment real time online.

ne of the leading indigenous airlines in Nigeria, Dana Air has announced a special valentine offer for guests travelling with it on its Lagos – Abuja – Lagos routes. Also, the British giant airline, British Airways, yesterday said plans are underway to reward travellers on its flights from Abuja and Lagos to any of their destinations with 14 per cent discount vouchers redeemable during subsequent travels. The airline said that the initiative was aimed at making flying more fun and rewarding. Speaking to aviation correspondents, Dana’s Head of Commercial, Mr. Obi Mbanuzuo on the valentine promo tagged; ‘Let

Your Love Fly For Free’, stated that couples booked to travel together stand the chance of paying full value of one ticket and getting the companion ticket free of charge. He stated that the special offer would run from 14th to 28th February, adding that the airline would also engage the online community by giving them an opportunity to win free couples’ tickets upon participating in daily quizzes on its facebook fan page within the period. He said, “Valentine is about giving and Dana Air is making tickets readily available to encourage leisure get-away’ for couples within this season of love, as it also provides an opportunity for couples to spend some cherished moments together.”

Africa requires $45bn per year to meet potable water needs

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he Executive Secretary of Water and Sanitation in Africa, Idrissa Doucoure yesterday said that Africa must invest 45 billion dollars annually in order to meet its drinking water needs. Doucoure said that at the justended International Forum on infrastructure in Africa, held in Brazzaville. He added that there was the need to explore other areas, including public-private partnership, to source the massive capital needed to develop infrastructure in Africa. He lamented that in Africa, governments do not give drinking water infrastructure the same attention as those of transport, sports and telecommunication. “Most often, when we talk about infrastructure, we often

refer to roads, highways, airports and we forget the basic infrastructure which includes drinking water and sanitation infrastructure,’’ Doucoure said. He said that nearly 300 million Africans did not have access to drinking water. “We talk about an Emerging Africa by 2020 or 2025, but this emergence will occur only if every person in Africa has access to safe drinking water,’’ he said. He commended that the efforts of the Republic of Congo, which produces about 10,000 cubic metres of water daily, and for its plan to drill 4,000 boreholes in the rural areas. “I think these are examples that deserve to be known in Africa and to be shared so that we can solve water and sanitation problems,’’ he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jobs & Career

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Proliferation of professional bodies, institutes assume worrying dimension The need for effective regulation of professional bodies and institutes in Nigeria appears imperative as the proliferation of institutes and bodies assumes a worrying dimension, MESHACK IDEHEN writes.

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nalysts are of the view that the criteria for becoming a professional body or institute in Nigeria is becoming less stringent by every passing day. To the analysts, the scramble for government’s largesse which is usually doled out to professional institutes with chartered status has led to an even fiercer struggle, and the criteria for becoming chartered now also heavily watered down. Citing the example of the accounting profession and the struggle for recognition and supremacy among the various bodies and institutes that the accounting profession in Nigeria is now made up of, the Managing Director of Purple Consult Limited. Mr. Tope Awosegba said that situation best captures the decline and inherent challenges that professional bodies and institutes in Nigeria are grappling with. According to him, that vital aspect of professionalism in Nigeria is now represented at various forums by not less than six bodies, such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, (ANAN), Association of Specialist Accountants amongst other. However, Awosegba was quick to add that ANAN and CIMA whose arrival on the professional accounting scene when combined is less than a decade and half in the country, have given good account of themselves in terms of meeting the expectations of their founding founders; an expectation they said is primarily the breaking of the monopoly that ICAN holds over the profession and its practitioners in the country. Former Assistant Chief Registrar of Personnel Practitioner Council of Nigeria,(PPCN), Mrs. Isioma Elumelu, told National Mirror though that opinions about proliferation of professional bodies have remained a matter of argu-

Ajanlekoko

ments between the various bodies and their followers. She said the speculation that professional and academic objectives have been relegated completely to the background by professional bodies with the emphasis now on how the bodies and institutes can remain sustainable by means of funding it can generate to a large extent could be true, adding the situation is indeed worrying to stakeholders. According to her, the funding that the Federal Government gives to chartered professional bodies and institutes may also be responsible for the rush to establish professional bodies and have chartered. Human resource practitioner and Managing Director of Prot Consulting Limited, Mr. Sunny Agboju, confirmed to National Mirror that the root cause of the friction that existed among CIMA,ANAN and ICAN was the salient, though unspoken fears still nursed by ICAN till date, that the arrival of ANAN and CIMA on the accounting scene will not only reduce the subvention to ICAN from the Federal Government, but that potential and present accountants who are not able to meet ICAN’s criteria standards will settle for less in any of the other bodies or institutes. While decrying the present situation of undue rivalry between the various associations in the accounting profession, member of the Governing Council of ICAN Mr. Ismaila Zakari, said it was unnecessary to establish other professional body to oversee the activities of accountants in Nigeria when there were existing bodies carrying out the same function. Zakari said it would amount to a pro-

Nzekwe

UNLESS SOMETHING IS URGENTLY DONE TO RESOLVE THE STRIFE THAT IS FAST TEARING THE

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MARKETING OF NIGERIA, WE MAY SOON HAVE A NEW BODY THAT WILL BEGIN TO LAY CLAIMS AS THE AUTHENTIC MARKETING INSTITUTE liferation of the profession and a dilution of the standards of the profession, adding it ws important that standards be maintained. He concurred proliferations was indeed affecting professional bodies in the country. The President of ANAN, Dr. Samuel Izekwe, on his part, said the association was not against the establishment of another professional body for the accounting practice, provided that it has something new to offer. However, observers pointed out that while the hostilities amongst the ICAN, CIMA and ANAN professional bodies may have simmered down gradually, the same cannot be said of other profession-

Railway workers want action on policy formulation MESHACK IDEHEN

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orkers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), under

the aegis of Nigeria Union of Railway Workers NUR said they want the Federal Government and other stakeholders to partner with the union as part of measures to roll out time tested policies.

The President-General of NUR, Mr. Raphael Ben Okoro, told journalists that the partnership between the union, government and employers of labour could lead to national development and eco-

nomic growth. Okoro said much that can be achieved through constructive tripartite methodology cannot be over-emphasized, saying it was for that reason the union is advising

al bodies and institutes, many of whom are gradually fading away into oblivion, due to issues that range from infighting amongst members and internally initiated crisis, to allegation and counter accusations of corruption, a situation that knowledgeable stakeholders explained should not be heard or mentioned as far as ethics of professional bodies are concerned. Immediate past President of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Mr. Olusegun Ajanlekoko, told National Mirror that the APBN is worried over the trend, and has raised alarm severally over the proliferation of professional bodies. He said the trend has attained a worrisome level in the country presently. According to Ajanlekoko, the APBN has already appealed to Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and the National Assembly to ensure that in carrying out the duty of incorporation and passing of laws affecting professional bodies, to do proper evaluation by contacting APBN and existing professional bodies for input and presentation of informed opinion before their accreditation and incorporation in the larger interest of the country. He disclosed that many of the institutes and bodies are not known to APBN or the laws of the country, saying that APBN is the umbrella body and authoritative voice of institutes, institutions and societies are which is recognised and chartered to regulate the professions by the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Challenging the Federal Government to cease giving grants and subventions to professional bodies, institutes and organisation, chartered or not, Management Expert, Mr. Obi Obitunde, said it was mainly pride, ego and the quest to acquire wealth that has driven many to break away and start their own bodies. Citing the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), as another case of proliferation of professional institutes and bodies, Obitunde said NIMN was almost torn by internal strife, and that Nigerians should expect to see another body from that profession soon. “Unless something is urgently done to resolve the strife that is fast tearing the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, we may soon have a new body that will begin to lay claims as the authentic marketing institute; seek to become chartered, and enjoy the largesse of government and members that go with such autonomy”.

the government at all levels to embrace trade unions and labour leaders as partners in progress, as workers’ representatives are inalienable stakeholders that deserve recognition.” He enjoined all the trade unions in the country not to fail in their duty as champions of the common man and instruments for social change.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

How to build loyalty amongst staff

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taff retention is a reflection on the training and personal development that an organisation offers. Employees must be challenged to develop their skills and constantly improve, ensuring that they are not standing still, stagnating and ultimately left looking for new challenges. Employee’s loyalty can be achieved. Loyalty amongst employees will not only lead to an increased sense of importance, but will also ensure that staff becomes passionate about the service that they are delivering. This in turn leads to improved customer loyalty and with that, hopefully, increased revenue. These tips can help build staff loyalty. Keep motivated-Keep employees motivated and keep their confidence levels up. An unmotivated worker will not do the best job for the customer. Maintaining and improving motivation and confidence can

take the form of regular refresher courses for employees. This ensures that they are on top of any changes but also provides a forum to discuss previous experiences and learn how to put them right in the future. Day-to-day motivationAway from the more formal training, ongoing and day-today motivation encourages and pushes workers to achieve more. Even small things like employee-of-the-month schemes can have a big impact and ensure that staffs feel valued in their role. Positive reinforcement-Positive reinforcement is vital. If employees have direct involvement with the client, then this helps to boost morale and make them feel part of the bigger picture. With confidence high, workers can really go about their job with vigour and passion and ensure that they are representing the brand they’re

working for in the best light possible. Tailored packages-The type of training and motivational packages that are offered must be tailored to individual employees to address any potential skill gaps. The worst thing that a centre can do is offer a generic package across the business in an attempt to keep staff happy. By offering a one-size-fits-all package across all workers, an organisation is actually at risk of demoralising staff, as individual needs are not addressed and personal development plans are not appropriate. Train staff in smaller teams that are at the same stages of career progression and ensure that there’s the opportunity to really offer a tailored development programme. Staying at the cutting edgeNow more than ever, an employee needs training in line with the increasingly diversified skills needed for the role. It is vital that a centre supports

Workers on duty

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he need to caution job seekers against falling victim to job scammers is reiterated this week, in view of the recent alarm raised by Total Exploration and Production that scammers are attempting to dupe job seekers using platforms similar to that of the company. Job seekers are thus advised to make diligent enquiries from reliable sources, before embarking on any form of interaction with potential employers. Nevertheless, available job vacancies open this week with openings for Graduate Trainees Level (www.findjobafrica.com) in the banking sector in the 36 states of the country. The company which is a major player in the banking industry said it seeks to employ competent graduate trainees with the following criteria. Qualifications include a mini-

mum of 2.1 from a reputable University. Must not be more than 24 years as at December 2013. Posses good communication and analytical skills and must have completed NYSC. Also from www.findjobafrica. com is the position for a Personal Assistant to be based in Ikoyi, Lagos who will work closely with senior management to provide administrative support, usually on a one-to-one basis. Discretion and confidentiality are therefore essential attributes for the successful Candidate. The PA is expected to deal with secretarial and administrative tasks, devising and maintaining office systems, including data management and filing; arranging travel, visas and accommodation and, occasionally, travelling with the manager to take notes or dictation at meetings or to provide general assistance during presen-

Job vacancies tations; Other responsibilities are screening phone calls, enquiries and requests, and handling them when appropriate; meeting and greeting visitors at all levels of seniority; organising and maintaining diaries and making appointments and dealing with incoming email, faxes and post, often corresponding on behalf of the manager; Qualifications for the post are a degree, as well as personal qualities, experience and general office skills. Candidate must be conversant with Microsoft office suites and Internet service. Good interpersonal skills. Fluent in spoken and written English, and experience of between 5 to 7 years experience. Preferred age 40 - 45 years. From www.jobberman.com,is the position for a Relationship Officer who is to be based in Delta state.

this and remains at the cutting edge so that the advisors feel that they are at the best possible place to work. Long-term personal development-Additionally, organisations must try to help with long-term personal development and try to assist wherever this is possible – whether that is learning a new language or taking a qualification such as an NVQ. The right technology-Having the right technology not only benefits the customer, it also has a huge impact on the confidence of staff. If a centre is not up to date with the latest

technology, staff will be more inclined to seek pastures new as their job and role could be made easier elsewhere. Good technology allows staff easy access to product and customer information and ensures it is readily available for all customer calls, meaning that the brand experience will ultimately be the benefactor. Informal management-A more informal management process, to supplement the formal line manager and appraisal process, is a good way of ensuring that staff stay content, motivated and enjoy coming into their place of work.

Insecurity worries oil workers il workers under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has decried the level of insecurity witnessed in the New Year following the killings by the Boko Haram insurgents in Maiduguri, Borno State. The President of the NUPENG, Mr. Achese Igwe said in a statement that despite the formation of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in Borno, that the killings have continued unabated in Maiduguri and its environs. He expressed the union’s displeasure over the alleged poor handling by security agencies of the crisis, which has turned a once peaceful environment to a hostile one.

According to him, insecurity is hindering the flow of foreign investors into the country, especially when such potential investors watch and read only about fighting in the country. He urged security agents not to be partisan in the crisis but strive to ensure law and order is maintained, just as he advised the federal government to frontally address the security challenges in the country. “The union stresses that these insurgents are not ghosts and it is up to security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities to device ways of putting a stop to these senseless killings of innocent Nigerians”. NUPENG said it is urging the Federal Government to pay security agencies their allowances as and when due in order not to lower their fighting spirit in the ravaged areas.

The company which is into information technology and customer service said some of the responsibilities for the incoming is to Initiate apt activities to ensure on time and scheduled response to customers, review independently all documents and link entire customer accounts to suitable relationship, provide securities details, quotes and valuations to customers and implement and supervise all unsolicited trade activities. Other responsibilities are to conduct evaluation of client’s accounts, collect mandatory information to analyze client situation, develop and oversee relationships with clients performing alongside the relationship manager to ensure top level service provided to clients and perform as key contact point for portfolio of clients dealing with routine matters throughout range of services and prod-

ucts. The qualification and requirements are amongst others, a minimum of OND in any related discipline, at least 2 - 4 years experience with a branding or advertising company in similar position and excellent communication and presentation skills. Job openings as Sales Representatives to be based in Lagos is also available on www.jobberman. com from a printing/Press house that requires qualified and experience candidates to apply for the position. Responsibilities includes implementing the company’s sales strategic plans from time to time, ensuring to adhere to company’s policies and procedures, ensuring sales lodgement into the company’s account on a daily bases. Sales representative will be required to stay at company location and handle day to day sales.

MESHACK IDEHEN

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Real Estate & Environment dayoayeyemi@yahoo.com 08033312578

Lagos woos first-time home owners with 10-year mortgage scheme

Colony Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos

Home ownership for average citizens has been a pipedream decades as most lack the resources to buy or build their own homes amid rising cost of land, building materials and pressure on disposable income. However, the Lagos State Government has created a mortgage scheme that could serve as a national template for changing this situation. DAYO AYEYEMI reports.

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or many years, our people have had to acquire houses; often times being required to pay cash once and for all, as if they were buying a shirt or a pair of shoes in a shop. In Lagos State, we have taken the view that a home is not something you buy in one day but over time, in a way that your ability to acquire it is tied to your income and continued prosperity.” Those were the words of Governor Babatunde Fashola, while unveiling the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme, Lagos-HOMS, a scheme specifically developed by the state government for first time homeowners through the creation of a 10year mortgage.

The cash and carry syndrome that has pervaded the housing market, the governor said was the reason why a large number of ordinary middle class and working people could not afford to acquire homes on the basis of their legitimate income derived from hard work that rewards the dignity of their labour. For this reason and the need to meet housing needs of citizens, the governor said his administration has come up with the idea of Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme. Fashola said, “Our view of a home is that it is something you pay for gradually and it is a place of safety, well built and safe, to protect you and your family from the hazards of nature such as rain and heat; a place that will not flood or suddenly collapse; an asset that outlives you. “The Lagos Homs is not about providing a home alone. It is also about a total lifestyle change. We are moving our people from desperation for shelter, to an orderly and planned living.” Lagos HOMS is a process by which La-

gosians will be given a fair and transparent opportunity to pay for their homes over a period of not less than 10 years under a mortgage scheme. To flag off the scheme, the governor mentioned that 1,104 housing units have been completed while another 3,156 are at various stages of construction, adding that the government intends to start more. He said,” We are starting 132 units in Iponri, 720 units in Ibeshe Ikorodu, 420 units in Ajara Badagry, 648 units in Sangotedo Phase II, 216 units in Obele, 36 units in Akerele Phase II, 48 units in Oyingbo, 1254 units in Ilubirin and 1080 units in Ijora Badia.” Through the process of building the houses, the Fashola recalled that jobs were created on various construction sites that have benefited 134 construction companies, 459 sub-contractors employing over 1,168 persons, Seven consultancy companies, 5,442 suppliers, artisans, labourers, and numerous citizens who were employed in the supply chain of sand, gravel, wood and fittings, as well as food vendors and trans-

OUR VIEW OF A HOME IS THAT IT IS SOMETHING YOU PAY FOR GRADUALLY AND IT IS A PLACE OF SAFETY, WELL BUILT AND SAFE, TO PROTECT

YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FROM THE HAZARDS OF

NATURE SUCH AS RAIN AND HEAT; A PLACE THAT WILL NOT FLOOD OR SUDDENLY COLLAPSE; AN ASSET THAT OUTLIVES YOU

ports. The governor revealed that as from March 4, 2014, the first 200 new homeowners would emerge through the first draw to be heal in public, adding that every month, 200 landlords will begin to emerge in Lagos State through Lagos-HOMS. Justifying the importance of the housing mortgage, he said, “The easiest thing to do would have been to simply sell all the houses today, collect the cash and wait for the next batch and do the same; but this is not our way. That is the simplistic way that does not solve the problem of housing. For us, sustainability is the key and I have personally benefitted from previous initiatives by my esteemed predecessors in this regard. I am happy that we took the decision to confront this problem and I hope that the solution we offer today will be the long term solution.” In order to deliver some of the housing projects to kick-start Lagos-HOMS, the governor said the state government has been saving N200m monthly from the internally generated revenue and later increased the saving to N500m monthly, giving the possibility of increasing the fund. Henceforth, the governor said the role of the Ministry of Housing will increasingly be that of a regulatory one, facilitating private sector housing development and enforcing housing regulations, leading research into systems building and cost saving initiatives that increase the affordability of homes and the speed of construction. He said, “Our ultimate plan is to be the CONTINUED ON PAGE 26


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Lagos woos first-time homeowners with 10-year mortgage scheme CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 guaranteed purchasers to developers who will acquire their own land, build to our specification and to our agreed prices. This way, many more houses can come on stream because of private sector participation, and government will use the IGR from taxpayers money to buy from the developers and sell to the citizens on a 10 year mortgage payment.” Speaking about the design, size and space of the house, Fashola said, “After experimenting with a few designs of bungalows, room and parlour and block of flats, we have settled on two designs. A block of four floors, containing 12 flats of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom on each floor and a block of 12 flats of two units of 2 (two) bedroom flats; and 1 (one) unit of a 3 (three) bedroom flat. In each case, each block will have 12 flats and in this way we can optimize the use of our limited land space. We are still working on a design of a block of 18 flats with lifts while we are looking for ways to power the lifts without increasing the cost unreasonably. “We have also taken pains to design the flats such that they have more space than most of what is available in the open market. For example, our one bedroom flat is 60.22 square meters while the 2 bedroom is 75.79 square meters and the 3 bedroom is 123.88 square meters. They all contain more living area than many of the standard 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms in the market, which are ordinarily available to middle and low-income bracket people who are out target under this project. In terms of pricing, our policy is about affordability and accessibility. “This is so because we have not yet found cheap or low cost cement, neither have we found low cost iron rod or low cost labour. The continuity and sustainability of the entire project depends on our ability to build more at break even cost without profit, in a market where there is increasing inflation; fluctuating exchange and interest rates and a high dependence on housing inputs that are imported and priced in US Dollars against a struggling local currency. Accordingly, we have applied an across the board discount of 25 per cent to the total actual cost of land, infrastructure and building which is the total cost of the home.” The governor added that the homes have become more competitive against what is available on the open market “because there is a minimum period of 10 years to pay for it and the mortgage payment will attract a maximum interest of 9.5 per cent per annum. There is no other payment plan superior to this in the country today and this is our starting point, from where we hope to get better.” “Indeed I have commissioned a study on the total number of mortgage loans in the portfolio of all banks in our country and the result is that there are approximately 200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand) mortgages for a population of about 160 million people. “The lowest interest rates are about 11 per cent while there are higher regions of

Fashola

Minister of Housing, Musa Sada

IT WILL HELP APPLICANTS IF THEY ARE ABLE TO SHOW US THEIR RESIDENCY CARD UNDER LAGOS STATE RESIDENTS REGISTRATION EXERCISE WHICH IS MEANT TO REGISTER PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN

LAGOS. THE APPLICATION FORMS HAVE BEEN DESIGNED TO DEMAND THIS INFORMATION

25 per cent or above. Similarly, there are tenures of repayment as little as 4 years to as long as 30 years, but none of them is as low as 9.5 per cent, which is our maximum interest payment. Therefore at the very start we have established a capacity to out strip what exists by way of mortgage funding in the open market.” On the requirement for eligibility, the governor mentioned that those who have never owned a home whether acquired privately or brought from government will be eligible. In addition, he said applicants would be required to swear an affidavit to this effect, which will be part of the documents

prepared, within a contract that entitles the state government to re-possess the house anytime, even in the tenth year, if it has proof that one owned another home when one applied to the scheme. In addition, he said only Lagos residents who are taxpayers would benefit. He said, “For our people, we have taken the definition of Residency applicable in the Tax Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is a continuous period of residency for a minimum period of 180 days, or about 6 months, irrespective of where your original roots are. “It will help applicants if they are able to show us their residency card under La-

gos State Residents Registration exercise which is meant to register people who live in Lagos. The application forms have been designed to demand this information. “Apart from residency, applicants must show proof of payment of tax for a continuous period of five years preceding their application. This must be so because, as I said all these houses have been built from taxes paid by our residents, and it seems to us only fair that those whose taxes paid for it must get the first opportunity to benefit.” Successful applicants will immediately pay a deposit of 30 per cent of the house they choose as their equity, which is global best practice, while the balance will be paid on a monthly basis over 10 years. Accordingly, the state government will match house choices to applicants’ proven income sources to determine eligibility and it is only eligible applicants, whose forms will go into the ballot from which successful applicants will be picked. Mortgage counselors have already been trained to deal with this process. Governor Fashola warned that prompt payment of monthly mortgages will be rigorously enforced “ because we have seen that default of payment and difficulty of re-possessing houses from defaulters has been a major disincentive to investment in the property sector, by the private sector developers, whose participation in housing development is critical to our ability to increase the supply of homes. “We have therefore resolved to quicken recovery by using Arbitration Rules which have been drafted into the contract of sale and the mortgage agreement and the arbitration proceedings are expected to be completed in 21 days.” “We hope that we will receive the full co-operation from home owners, lawyers and judges who must refrain from seeking and granting injunctions to mortgagors who are in default, and submit to arbitration,” he said. The highlight of the launch was the inauguration of the Board members of Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme.

Industrialists laud Ogun government on road construction

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wners of industrial concerns at the Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation, OPIC, Industrial Estate in Agbara have lauded the State Government for matching its words with action on the reconstruction of road networks within the estate. Representatives of the industrialists, Mr. Bayo Ikujenyo, who is the President of OGUNCCIMA and Engr. Stephen Ndukwe, the Group Technical Director, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, gave this commendation in Abeokuta at a meeting between them and the state government on

ways of fine-tuning terms of funding the estate’s on-going 5.2 km road construction. Both Ikujenyo and Ndukwe said the ongoing road construction was a reflection of good governance in the state, assuring the commitment of companies in the estate to an earlier agreement to partner government in the execution of the project estimated to N1.27 billion. In his remarks, Commissioner for Commerce and Industries, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru underscored the importance of private partnership in project execution, emphasising that the state

government would continue to deliver on its promises. “This is a sincere government, whatever we promise, we always deliver, we are therefore appealing to all industries operating in Agbara to see how they can support the project, so let us work together to move the state forward”. He underscored the need for others yet to show commitment to do so as they all stand to benefit maximally, saying “we can all see construction work going on, so government would want the unwilling industries to ensure they contribute their

own quota”. Also speaking, the Managing Director of OPIC, Mr. Jide Odusolu explained that the partnership was a unique Public/ Private joint funding model. He said the on-going road constructing was part of government urban renewal project, which could not be accomplished alone by government, emphasising that “we want all the industries to see it as part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities. Government would play its part, they will also play their part and everything would work as planned”.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

AFN targets ets IAAF top ranking

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

We can fly at the World Cup but we must make ke sure we don’t compromise a quality team m –SUPER EAGLES MIDFIELDER, EJIKE UZOEN UZOENYI YI

Heartland pay N70m arrears sign-on fees

Rabiu Ali (left) in action for Kano Pillars

•Clubs to sell shares this season – Irabor T he Imo State Government yesterday said it has paid N70 million to Heartland Football Club of Owerri being 40 per cent of the arrears of sign-on fees owed its players. Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Kenneth Emelu, disclosed the amount at a news conference at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, but did not say the total money owed the players. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the money was due to the players before the abolition of sign-on fees by the League Management Company (LMC) last month. Emelu also said the government had increased the monthly subvention of the club and approved the appointment of new technical crew, saying it was in fulfillment of earlier promise by Governor Rochas Okorocha to rebrand the club. Accordingly, Ramson Madu is the new Chief Coach, while Promise Nwachukwu is the Team Manager. Chief Fan Ndubuoke is the chairman. Meanwhile, Chairman of the LMC, Hon. Nduka Irabor, yesterday, in Aba, said that Nigerian clubs might sell shares to members of the public from the upcoming 2013/2014 football season. “Nigerians can start buying into the local football clubs from now when the owners are willing to sale, but certainly they will go by the rules in 2014/2015 season," Irabour said.

Mexico friendly: Keshi invites uncapped trio

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igeria coach, Stephen Keshi, has reportedly called up uncapped trio Imoh Ezekiel, Ramon Azeez and Michael Uchebo for the friendly with Mexico in Georgia, Atlanta on March 5. BBC Sport reported yesterday that the four players received their invitation letters two weeks ago, to enable them begin the process of obtaining United

States visas. Highly-rated Standard Liege striker Ezekiel looks to have been given a golden chance to force his way into Keshi's 23man squad for the World Cup in Brazil in the summer. Ezekiel, 20, with nine league goals this season, has been in superb form for Standard Liege and has caught Keshi's eye.

With Newcastle's Shola Ameobi and Dynamo Kiev's Brown Ideye both currently struggling for form, former U-20 striker Uchebo could book his seat on the plane to South America. Azeez, who has made 18 starts for Almeria in the Spanish La Liga this season, has already played for Nigeria at the FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cup in 2009 and 2011.

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Keshi


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Sport

Guardiola in no-Kroos show

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ayern Munich Coach, Pep Guardiola, has declined to commit to anything over striker Toni Kroos' club future. Guardiola remains guarded when it comes to the long-term future of Kroos, reportedly interesting Manchester United. United Manager David Moyes is in talks with Kroos' agents about a move to Old Trafford in the summer after the midfielder continues to reject Bayern's attempts to open new contract talks. Guardiola said of a player who was overlooked for a second game running over the weekend: "I comment only on players who played the match."

Guardiola

Balotelli right to cry–Seedorf

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C Milan Coach, Clarence Seedorf, has played down the tears shed by Mario Balotelli after being substituted during the 3-1 defeat to Napoli last weekend. The Dutch tactician believes that the former Manchester City’s man tears were not ‘abnormal’ and that Balotelli was in the right to express his emotion. "We are players and there are times when we express ourselves that way," Seedorf said yesterday. "I see nothing wrong or abnormal in that. I experienced it at times too. "He too needs to grow in general. He played very well against Cagliari, while tonight perhaps didn’t make the most of the space. “These are things we can all improve on and I’m happy he has so many areas to improve, as I can help him through that education." Balotelli only put one shot on target before coming off for Giampaolo Pazzini in the 73rd minute, and it was Seedorf’s first league defeat since taking charge in early January.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Arteta reveals Wenger fury A

rsenal midfielder, idfielder, Mikel Arteta, has admitted he had ad never seen Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, get as angry as he was at half-time at Anfield nfield on Saturday. The Gunners were 4-0 down inside 19 minutes againstt a rampant Liverpool and eventually went down 5-1, their second heavy defeatt of the season after a 6-3 Premier League gue thrashing at the hands of Manchester hester City in December. But the Emirates irates side responded to that defeat by taking 20 points from the next 24 availailable and Arrteta says that is Arsenal's new challenge, wh i c h starts with clash a at home to M a n ch e s t e r United tomorrow. w. "We know we e need to improve and face those games in a different rent manner because after 19 minutes we were 4-0 down and it was like a car crash,” the Spaniard said d yesterday. "The managerr was really upset at half-time, that's normal because ecause it wasn't good enough for this football club. It was the angriest I have seen him." But Arteta says ys there is no point looking back at a result the players can do nothing to change and he feels they have what it takes to bounce back. “I think we can an react positively facing United,” he added. d.

Top class thrills Iniesta

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arcelona midfielder, Andres Iniesta, is happy to see the club back at the top of the table after victory over Sevilla at the weekend. Barca made it a three-way tie on 57 points at the top of the Primera Division after its 4-1 win. “It was important to go top again. The circumstances perhaps weren’t the best but in the end we won the match,” Iniesta said. “When you have a chance you have to take advantage of it. I think this victory will give us strength ahead of the match on Wednesday and for the games to come after that.” On two-goal Lion e l Messi, Iniesta adde d : “Messi always r e sponds. He neve r misses and in just a few minutes he can change a game. He’s a fundamental player.”

Heartland deny Akpeyi’s exit

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eartland Football Club of Owerri yesterday denied reports that first choice goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, has left the club to join Warri Wolves Football Club. Recent media reports had claimed that Akpeyi, who was part of the Super Eagles squad that won bronze at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in South Africa, has moved over to Wolves. But Heartland’s Media Officer, Cajetan Nkwopara, insisted that the goalkeeper remained a part of the squad the Owerri club for the 2013/2014 season expected to kick off later this month. “We don’t plan to sell Daniel because he is still needed and has a contract with us,” Nkwopara said. “The fact remains that neither Warri Wolves nor any other Nigerian club has come to us for Daniel. The only exceptions are the offers from two European clubs which are still being discussed.” Certainly, Akpeyi would like to go to Europe from Heartland FC and we will encourage him on that. He has a good record in Heartland FC both as a player on the pitch and as a thorough bred young man. In fact he is a role-model loved and idolized by many of our fans,” he added. Akpeyi joined Heartland six years ago and has helped the side win the Federation Cup back to back in 2011 and 2012.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Uzoenyi lifts Pepsi Academy’s image AFOLABI GAMBARI

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uper Eagles’ revelation at the recent CHAN 2014 finals in South Africa, Ejike Uzoenyi, has added to growing list of the Pepsi Football Academy products who have distinguished themselves at the topmost level of Nigerian football. John Obi Mikel, Osaze Odemwingie, Obafemi Martins, Elderson Echiejile, Onyekachi Apam, Yinka Adedeji, Stephen Makinwa, Chinedu Obasi, Dele Adeleye and Solomon Okoronkwo, among others, have also graduated from various centres of the Pepsi Academy in Nigeria before playing in the Eagles. Uzoenyi had demonstrated his immense talent at the age of six while still in primary school in Enugu, Enugu State before the PFA scouts snapped him up at age 10 and exposed him to a demonstration match help for U-12 kids at Ado Ekiti in 1999. The petit winger, who also played in attacking role using both feet with accurate efficiency, has never looked back since the Ekiti event. Nicknamed by his peers as “Codo”, a short form of Commando, Uzoenyi later featured in the Pepsi Academy’s U-14 and U-16 teams before his stints at amateur club Idah Lions and Gateway FC of Abeokuta, from where moved to pro-

league sides Enyimba and lately Rangers, whereupon he had trials in France before returning to Rangers ahead of the coming Glo League season. Not many were surprised that Uzoenyi emerged as the CHAN 2014 Most Valuable Player after his exploits drove Nigeria to a bronze medal at the country’s first outing at the continental championship. He was immediately approached by South Africa’s top league club Orlando Pirates, although talks of a switch reportedly broke down after Rangers reportedly failed to agree to Pirates terms. Coordinator of Pepsi Academy in the South East, Edwin Eze, deserves credit for his effort at discovering Uzoenyi and giving him the platform to express himself in competitions at the early stage of the player’s career. “I knew he was bound for the skies,” Eze told National Mirror yesterday, adding, “I am delighted at his development.” PFA Director, Dr. Kashimawo Laloko, however said the academy is replete with budding talent that would blossom in the near future. “At every stage, the young kids will take turn like Ejike is taking at the moment,” Loloko remarked, stressing, “On our part, we will continue to nurture them while laying emphasis on giving them a sense of direction.”

Quadri, Makanjuola listed for ITTF tours

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ll Africa Games bronze medalist, Aruna Quadri and bronze medalist at the maiden Lagos Classics, Kazeem Makanjuola, have been listed in this month’s International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tours tagged Kuwait and Qatar Opens. The Kuwait Open strokes off tomorrow at the Salwa Sporting Club with over 243 players drawn from 33 countries taking part in the five-day $210,000 prize money championship. According to the organisers of the Kuwait Open, Quadri and Makanjuola will compete in the men’s singles and doubles events as they would use the tournament to prepare for this year’s Commonwealth Games holding in Scotland. Makanjuola hopes to cause one of the major upsets at the Kuwait Open being his first outing in an ITTF World Tour. “I am so happy that I am taking part in my first World Tour and for me, this is another opportunity to prove myself,” he said. “I hope to qualify from the group and also defeat some of the top players in the competition,” he added. Portugal-based Quadri, who last week led his Portuguese club, G. D. Toledos, to retain the Portuguese Cup departed for Kuwait yesterday as he assured on a good performance. At the closing date of entry on Monday January 13, 2014, about 243 players

from 33 national associations had enrolled, as organisers said it was the biggest entry ever received for the Kuwait Open which was first staged in February 2006.

NSF 2014 gets sub-committees

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Uzoenyi

B’ball: Nestle equips St. Jude’s AFOLABI GAMBARI

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estle Nigeria at the weekend celebrated the feat achieved by St Jude’s Girls’ Secondary School, Bayelsa at the yearly Milo Secondary School Basketball Championship. At the colourful event held at the school premises in Amarata, the state’s Commissioner for Education, Salo Adikumo, led parents and guardians of the team’s players. Principal of the school, Mrs. Celia Apreala, who attended the same school before she became the games mistress, expressed delight at St. Jude’s achievement. “I think Milo’s effort will go a long way in inspiring the students to aim high in their lives,” the 52-yearold said. “I also want to commend the coach for his effort at steering the team to success,” she added. Category Business Manager, Beverages, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Doja Ekeruche, said at the occasion that the gesture was in fulfillment of the company’s commitment at the beginning of the 2013 edition of the tournament.

Aruna Quadri

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s part of the activities heralding the commencement of the 19th National Sports Festival (NSF), the National Sports Commission (NSC), yesterday in Abuja inaugurated four Sub-Committees, eight Project Management Teams and the Main Organising Committee (MOC) Secretariat to deliver a seamless festival. The festival tagged “Paradise Games 2014” is scheduled to hold from 23rd November to 7th December 2014 in Calabar, Cross River State. Inaugurating the sub-committees and project management teams, Director General of the NSC who is also chairman of the MOC, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, enjoined the members to be proactive and employ their wealth of experience, knowledge, skills and talents in sports organisation to ensure that the festival which is Nigeria’s equivalent of the Olympics measures up to international standards. He tasked the committees to strive to exceed the standard set at the last festival held in Lagos tagged “Eko 2012.” The sub-committees are headed by the following: MOC Secretariat: sub-committee on finance to be headed by a Deputy Director in the NSC; sub-committee on technical headed by Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba; medical sub-committee headed by Dr Abdul-kadir Mu’Azu and sub-committee on media and publicity to be chaired by Mr. Paul Bassey. The project management teams are made up of the following, Games Village Management Stanley Okebugwu (Chairman); Transport, Peter Nelson (Project Manager); Venues and Facilities – Arc. Ahmadu Gambo (Project Manager); Ceremonial and Protocol, Mrs. Anne Attah (Project Manager); Accommodation, Mr. Issa Suleiman (Project Manager); Torch of Unity, Mr. Oluwole Akoja (Project Manager); Zonal Elimination; Dr. Ademola Are (Project Manager) and Marketing and Sponsorship, Mrs. Maria Wophil (Project Manager).

Squash: South West wins Abuja tourney JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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outh West male and female squash teams have emerged winners of Squash Super Six in honour of the recently promoted Nigeria Squash Federation board member, Major General Shehu Yusuf. The tournament comprised five best players from the six geo-political zones in Nigeria President of the NSF, Adamu Erena, said that the tournament was aimed at discovering players that would represent Nigeria in the near future. “We are trying to reach out with people who are interested in sponsoring squash,” the NSF boss said. “We also desire to give opportunities to the players to excel. “Our board wants to reposition squash in the country and we plan to have our league this year to make the game available to all Nigerians.”


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Sport

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

AFN targets IAAF top ranking JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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he Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has said that it would target the number three spot in the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) ranking for 2014. President of the AFN, Evangelist Solomon Ogba, who spoke to National Mirror in Abuja at the weekend, said that the target would help to reposition

athletics in the country. According to Ogba, the IAAF latest World ranking which placed Nigeria on the 19th position in the world and third in Africa indicated better days ahead. "Generally if I assess what we have done, I think it has been good but not where we want it to be yet,” Ogba remarked. "We want to have at least three, four or five athletes ranked within the first three in the world. "One of our goals is to erase most of

The AFN hopes to better the lot of Blessing Okagbare this year

the national records set before and we started doing that because many records have been falling.” Ogba also reiterated that the AFN’s decision to employ a Performance Director was aimed at helping Nigeria to mount the podiums at international competitions. "We agreed that absence of a performance director in the Team Nigeria to the 2012 London Olympics contributed largely to Blessing Okagbuare’s loss in the 100metres race," he reckoned.

How I keep shape intact–James London 2012 Olympic Games 400m champion, Kirani James, from Grenada, has proved to be one of the genuine superstars of global athletics in the past few seasons. In this interview, he offers a glimpse into his life by answering the “work, rest and play” questions What is your favourite training session? Any ladder work out whether that is 400m, 300, 200m and 100m or 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m. It is a great workout. What are your favourite three things about being an athlete? One, to get to do something I love. Second, to be given the chance to make people who really care about you really proud; and thirdly, to have an effect on people that I never thought I’d have an effect on. What is your favourite training venue? I would say at home in Grenada because it is not only a good place to train but it is where everything started for me. Who is your favourite training partner? For the past couple of years, I’ve trained on my own. Yet, when I was back in Grenada, I trained with a group called Speed Zone. We had some pretty interesting characters

on that team, a really funny bunch of guys. It was great to train with them and form that kind of friendship. Where is your favourite place to relax? I would say in Grenada at home, just chilling. Describe your perfect nontraining day? I’d sleep until about 3pm. I’d like to chill, relax, play some video games, watch some football and call it a day. My favourite videos games a r e sports

James

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Johnson-Thompson sounds Indoor warning

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atarina Johnson-Thompson has set her sights on the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, next month after a spectacular weekend at the British Athletics Indoor Championships in Sheffield where she broke the national high jump record on Saturday and added a championship record to win the long jump on Sunday. The European U-23 heptathlon champion and 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships long jump winner cleared 1.96m on her final attempt in the high jump contest having secured the title with 1.90m, one centimetre above her previous best.

games, either college (American) football or FIFA. Who is the athlete you can spend a day with to relax, and why? Probably the two-time former World Indoor Championships 400m gold medallist, Alleyne y Francique, q , from Grenada. He’s a very funny guy. I got go to know him a bit at the London Olymp Olympics. He’s just fun to be around. What is your favourite meal? favo Anything my mother cooks. Do you still play basketball, being your pastime? Not really, I’m paranoid II’d pick up an injury. I haven’t touched a basketball this off season, so that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Johnson-Thompson


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Building collapse: Built environment professionals tasked on synergy

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here is a need for experts and professionals in the building industry to work together to put an end to quackery and use of sub-standard materials, which had in recent times led to an upsurge of building collapse in the country. This step, according to the Ogun State Head of Service, Mrs. Modupe Adekunle, would not only check the menace and save lives usually lost, but also remove the embarrassment, which the practitioners and the country at large face whenever the ugly inci-

dent occurs. Adekunle bore her mind in Abeokuta while speaking at the Investiture/Award ceremony of the Ogun State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB). She said much as it is desirable for all to be a home owner, desperation and the “getting it at all cost” syndrome usually led to unapproved structures, unplanned communities, growth of shanties and collapse of buildings which are borne out of the use of substandard materials by quacks in

the building industry. According to her, the need for combined efforts of professional bodies like the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners and the Nigerian Institute of Building among others cannot be overemphasized. She stated that the determination to address this anomaly is one of the reasons the State government introduced the Home

A collapsed building in Lagos

Ownership Programme, calling on the professionals to support the government in the quest to correct all illegalities of the past. “It is in realisation of the substandard nature and illegal position of many buildings in our State that has made the present administration in the state, ably led by Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to introduce the Home Ownership Programme to correct the anomalies in our structure and correct the illegalities of the past. The onus therefore lies on professionals as a major stakeholder to rise to the occasion and come to the rescue by encouraging homeowners to embrace the laudable Home Owners’ Charter Programme of the state Government”, Adekunle tasked Speaking in the same vein, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Suraj Ishola Adekunbi, tasked members of the NIOB not to relent in efforts at ensuring building standard that would stand the test of time and improve socio-economic value. “I want to appreciate the dynamism of the Institute, while enjoining members not to relent in their contribution to the state Homeowners Charter Programme, by encouraging landlords to benefit from the huge discount in the building plan ap-

proval and Certificate of Occupancy, C of O, to become bonafide owners”, the Speaker appealed. On his part, Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Daniel Adejobi commended the institute for collaborating with the government in encouraging good building standards and called for continued enlightenment of artisans in the building sector. “We should continue to enlighten artisans in the building sector, such as the bricklayers, carpenters, building materials association, through training so as to enhance their efficiency” Adejobi noted. In his acceptance remark, the new State Chairman of NIOB, Builder Sikiru Eyinfunjowo applauded the state government’s initiative on the Home Charter programme, which he said would correct abnormalities, which often lead to building collapse. He affirmed that the Institute was prepared to support the programme, saying “we shall continue to support the government and offer services free of charge to reduce tension of those who are struggling to become house owners”. Awards of Excellence were later presented to notable professionals in recognition of their contributions to the growth of building industry in the state.

Over 51% of wetlands lost to urbanisation -Commissioner

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agos State Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello has disclosed that over 51 per cent of wetlands area including mangrove swamps along the coast and freshwater swamps in the state had been encroached upon indiscriminately due to urbanization. He emphasised that most of the wetlands in the state had been severely bastardised, encroached upon as a result of anthropogenic activities thus the need to sensitize Lagosians on the importance of Wetlands to the survival of human being with a view to returning it to its natural state. Bello described Wetland as an area that provided valuable services to satisfy economic, social and ecological needs of local, national and international communities, adding that wetlands also played important role in flood assimilation as well as provision of source of food, medicine, fuel and building materials to people

living around them. He noted that the topography of Lagos State haboured about 78 per cent water bodies of various sizes such as Ocean, lagoon, lakes, streams, wetlands among others. Bello stated this at the 2014 World Wetlands Day held last week in Lagos with the theme: “Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth”. He explained that the explosion of the state population visà-vis limited land size and the demand for housing and industrial development had placed the wetlands in Lagos State on the verge of extinction. The Lagos State commissioner for the environment is corroborated by a study carried out by the Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change, BNRCC, in partnership with the Nigerian Environmental Study/ Action Team, NEST, on Lagos State Climate Change Adaptation Strategy stated that in 1965, “wetlands covered about 53 per

cent of Lagos State, but as at 2003, this has been reduced to 2 per cent with great loss of biodiversity”. He stated that Agriculture (fishing and cultivation of crops) had the highest land use with 55.9 per cent occupancy, followed by residential with 31.2 percent, recreation 3.9 per cent, transportation 2.6 per cent, herb collection 2.6 per cent, worship 2.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent for others (sand mining and trading). Bello also noted that due to indiscipline and massive urban crave for development, most of our wetlands had been largely abused and encroached upon, adding that the Lagos State Government would soon come up with a comprehensive programme on its plans on wetlands across the state”. Bello hinted that wetlands were crucial to agriculture as it had become more evident that there was need to encourage the agricultural sector to embrace

responsible agricultural practices which would further boost and support wetlands. He mentioned some of the functions of wetlands to include the support of cultivation of rice; provision of a range of ecosystem services that benefit humanity, including water filtration, storm protection, flood control and recreation among others “The preservation of wetlands is a compulsory option for life and living. If we continue to destroy it, we compromise our future and endanger posterity. If our forefathers had preserved it for us, we also have the sacred responsibility of conserving it for unborn children”, said he. Lecture on the theme: Wetlands and agriculture: Partners for Growth was delivered by Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, a Director of Academic Planning, University of Lagos, Akoka who described the relationship between wetlands and agriculture as resourceful and healthy. He posited that there should

be strategic plan for bio-diversity management so as to achieve the partnership of wetlands and agriculture, stressing that the State Government should put in place a policy that would protect wetlands in the state. Some of the wetlands still noticeable around the state includes; Majidun, Ipakodo, Owode, Ise, Ibeju-Lekki, Iba, Abia, Iworo Ajido, Morogbo, Ajido, Isheri Olofin among others. Ramsar convention on wetlands (1971) defines wetland as “areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres”. It will be recalled that the World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year since 1977 to commemorate the date of adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2nd February 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar.


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Real Estate & Environment

The dining table for your house

Love a table, but aren’t thrilled about the matching chairs? Don’t be afraid to mix up a set and combine different styles for a look that’s uniquely you, but it really depends on your personality. For a budget-friendly approach, you can give the chairs in a matching set a new look by painting the chair frame and reupholstering the seats.

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ith so many options in the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with finding the best dining table for your space. Before you start scouring your favourite stores for dining sets, take a step back and think about how you’ll be using your table. Do you want a formal set for hosting fabulous dinner parties? Do you need a durable table that can hold up to the kids? Looking for a large space for craft projects? Does your dining table do double duty as your office table? Ask yourself how you want the space to function before starting your search. Finding a set that fits your space is Source: www.goodhousekeeping.com

more than just making sure the table measurements work. If you have ever been to a dinner party where you have to awkwardly scoot around other guests, then you know the importance of allowing enough room for people to pull out chairs. But how do you figure out the right size for the space? When measuring your space, assume that the table is roughly three to four feet larger on all sides to accommodate pulling the chair out and walking around someone with their chair pulled out. That total measurement is the maximum table size for your space. Don’t forget to allow for extras in the dining room, like a hutch, buffet or credenza.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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FG approves N28bn for infrastructure in Wasa district

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he Federal Executive Council, FEC, recently in Abuja approved N28bn for the provision of engineering infrastructure in Wasa District of the Federal Capital Territory ,FCT. The Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akin-

jide, made this known when she briefed State journalists on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting. She said the new district was one of the satellite towns being developed to further decongest the city centre. According to the minister, the

district, with a total land area of 367 hectares, is designed to provide affordable mass housing to the working class in the FCT. She said: Today, the Federal Executive Council ,FEC, approved a memorandum brought by the Federal Capital Administration for the award of contract

for the provision of engineering infrastructure to a district called, Wasa, for affordable housing in the Federal Capital Territory. ’’The scope of the contract is to cover a total land area of 367 hectares in Wasa District. ‘‘Wasa District is a district in Abuja Municipal Area Council and the scope of work include of course site clearance and earth works, road works, curves and walk ways. “Others are, culverts, storm water drainage, sewage drainage system, water supply distribution network and electrical power supply and street lighting.’’ Akinjide said that the approval of the contract was in line with the Federal Government’s

continued efforts to provide infrastructure and affordable housing in the FCT. She said the project was also in line with the establishment of FCT Satellite Development Agency, whose mandate is to provide infrastructure to satellite towns and rural areas of the FCT. According to her, the project, upon completion, will generate employment for at least 30 professionals, 50 technicians and 100 unskilled labourers. She said that the FCT administration, after reviewing the old mass housing scheme, had decided to reduce the cost of housing by providing land and services such as infrastructure. The developers, on the other hand would build and sell to Nigerians at affordable rates.

Waste managers appeal to Lagos residents, to boost services

C One of the unoccupied blocks of housing estates in Abuja due to exorbitant rents.

Rents rising faster in tech hubs than rest of U.S.

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ents are rising faster in U.S. tech hubs than in the rest of the country, Trulia said in a report released Thursday. In January, it said, rents rose 3.3 percent in the nation’s 100 biggest metropolitan areas in January, but they rose by an average of 5.7 percent in the 10 biggest tech hubs. The report blamed the high prices on factors ranging from the lack of new-housing construction in many tech centers to the technology industry’s presence in areas that commanded top dollar even before the current technology boom. Landlords ask one-third more in rent for a typical twobedroom unit in a tech hub compared with other big metro areas, the report said - $2,053, on average, compared with $1,504 in other metropolitan areas. San Francisco topped the list, with a 12.3 percent rise to a median average of $3,350 for a two-bedroom apartment. The city has seen unrest tied to home prices in recent months, with protesters who blame well-compensated technology workers for rising evictions and rents, and prevented tech-

nology-commuter buses from leaving their stops. Meanwhile, some residents who have made fortunes through technology say they are being unfairly blamed, given that the companies they build up help create jobs. Venture capitalist Tom Perkins recently drew criticism for comparing the treatment of wealthy Americans to the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews. Other tech centers with rapidly rising rents include San Diego, Calif., with a 10.3 percent rise to an average $1,850 for a two-bedroom home; Austin, Texas with a 10.1 percent rise to $1,350; and Seattle, Wash. with a 9.2 percent gain to $1,650. Asking prices of houses for sale in technology hubs, however, rose in line with national trends, the report found. House prices in January rose an average 13.4 percent from a year ago in the nation’s 10 largest technology hubs, compared with 11.4 percent in 90 other metropolitan areas. Tech hubs tend to have fewer homes stuck in foreclosure, the report’s authors wrote. When they adjust the numbers to reflect foreclosure inventory, the

price change is no different compared with other metro areas. But tech hubs have much higher home prices compared with other areas - $242 per square foot, compared with $133 per square foot in other areas, making them much less affordable, the report found. “Tech hubs also have higher incomes, but not high enough to bridge the affordability gap,” wrote the report’s authors. “Just 48 percent of homes listed for sale were affordable to the middle class based on median metro household income, versus 63 percent in other metros.” Trulia selected its top tech hubs by evaluating cities for the percentage of local employment in technology-related fields such as data processing and hosting, computer programming, software development, and Web development. San Jose, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; San Francisco, Calif.; Middlesex County, Mass.; Raleigh, N.C.; Bethesda-RockvilleFrederick, Md.; Austin, Tex.; Oakland, Calif.; Greater Washington, D.C.; and San Diego, Calif. comprised the 10 tech hubs studied for the report.

hairman, Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria, AWAM, Mr Bode Coker, yesterday urged residents of Lagos to adhere to waste management rules for a healthier environment. Coker made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos. “We have decided to ensure that we have compulsory training for all owners of trucks and their staff involved in waste management business. “We want everyone to be involved and be passionate about waste management and contribute positively to a healthier environment.’’ He said the association’s main aim was to ensure the safety service providers as well as reduce the risk of diseases arising from refuse collection.

“ We will ensure that all managers provide adequate working tools for the handlers which include overall clothing, hats, nose mask, gloves and boots’’ The chairman said that the association planned to organise a compulsory training for all chief executive of waste management companies in the state, to ensure efficiency. According to him, the association also plans to acquire more trucks, especially smaller ones, to service inner streets in order to eradicate cart pushers, whose activities lead to blocked canals and drainage systems. Coker called on Lagos residents to stop patronising cart pushers and call on the Lagos State Waste Management Authorities, LAWMA, truck to dispose of their waste.

FG begins implementation of UNEP report on Ogoniland- NOSDRA

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he Federal Government has started implementing the UN Environment Programme, UNEP; report on Ogoniland by addressing some emergency measures to provide alternative facilities for the affected communities. Director-General of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, Mr Peter Idabor disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency Nigeria ,NAN in Abuja. Idabor said that government had initiated a Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HPRP, to provide alternative facilities for the Ogoni communities. He said: “What we are dealing

with now are emergency measures that UNEP has requested to start with - providing alternative sources of drinking water, putting signs to ward off people from having their bath in dangerous areas. “Trying to set up a hospital registry to determine if there is any correlation between the number of deaths and oil activities in Ogoniland. “I think those things are being done but the Federal Government set up a body called HPRP of which the Federal Ministry of Environment is part of the Governing Body, including NOSDRA. “Our job is to regulate and to effectively make sure that Ogoni is cleaned up,’’ he said.


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Real Estate & Environment

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

China’s new home sales in 2013 hit $1.1tn

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ising demand for homes in China’s top-tier cities like Beijing are pushing up prices, as new home sales in China rose 27 per cent to $1.1trn in 2013 from a year earlier, official data showed, last week. The government has been trying to cool down China’s property market since 2005. But the central government has not added to nationwide cooling measures since March 2013. Official data released over the weekend showed prices of new homes in December climbing as much as 20 per cent in some cities. Prices of new homes in December rose 16 per cent in Beijing from a year earlier, 18 per cent in Shanghai, and 20 per cent Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the National Bureau of Statistics said on January 18. Premier Li Keqiang has not put in place any further nationwide cooling measures since his predecessor, Wen Jiabao, ordered higher down-payments for second-home purchases in some cities in March 2013. Instead, Mr Li has left it to individual cities to tighten their own local property policies, leading some provincial capital cities to introduce tighter requirements for some home buyers. But analysts say it is the big cities - or what China refers to as top-tier cities - that are the main contributors to the nation’s rising property prices. “There is more demand than supply in top-tier cities and that’s what causing property prices to go up,” said Shaun Rein, from

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Ebonyi signs N248m Abakaliki master plan

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he Ebonyi Government has signed a N248m Development Master Plan for Abakaliki Capital Terri-

A London estate

China Market Research. “Traffic is so bad in cities like Shanghai, and there aren’t that many new apartments being built there, so if you want to be near a central business district, the price is going to be high. “There is also very little speculation in the market,” Mr Rein said. “Most people are buying for themselves so they can improve the quality of their lives. “Wealthy people want to buy multiple homes and they just can’t. They can’t even

buy a third home and there are very high profit taxes if owners sell their home in less than five years.” Demand for residential real estate in second and third-tier cities was not the same as in top-tier cities and there was some concern that too much construction was taking place, Mr Rein said. “Overall, there are concerns that prices are too high for everyday people in top-tier cities and that there’s too much construction for demand in smaller cities. But the market is not going to explode,” he added.

Next wave of super-rich heading for London olitical and financial upheaval in some of the world’s largest emerging economies is driving a new wave of rich migrants to London’s supercharged property market as a place to park their wealth, data from a leading real estate agency showed on Friday. Knight Frank, a specialist in upmarket properties, said it had seen online enquiries about British homes from crisis-hit countries such as Argentina, Ukraine and Turkey soar over the past year. “There is potentially a further wave of investment headed for the prime central London property market,” Tom Bill, associate in the Knight Frank residential research team, told Reuters. This is despite prices in London already having risen sharply after a rush of foreign buyers of London mansions, prompted by the Euro zone debt crisis and the Arab spring, along with Britain’s political stability and benign property taxes. Prices in London overall in the three months to December were 14.9 percent higher than a year earlier, according to figures from mortgate lender Nationwide, and some top-end values have inflated even more, driving prices in Britain’s capital beyond the reach of most residents and making it a hot political topic. Finance Minister George Osborne

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said in December he would impose a capital gains tax on foreign property investors from 2015 in a bid to allay fears that wealthy foreign buyers are driving a property bubble. In the case of Brazil, interest has more than doubled over the 12 months to the end of January, Knight Frank said, adding that an increase in web traffic translates into a pickup in actual sales within three to six months. The agency, which sells homes worth at least $1.6 million and is marketing a 15 bedroom house on The Bishop’s Avenue, London’s “billionaires row”, at 65 million, said the bulk of those enquiries were for homes in the capital. “This doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Sophie Dworetzsky, a partner specializing in rich private clients at law firm Withers. “If you invest in high-end London property you probably feel you have a degree of certainty - it’s like a safe currency.” The biggest rise in interest came from Brazil, with a 115 percent spike over the 12 months to the end of January, compared with a year before. Brazil is one of the so-called “fragile five” economies seen as vulnerable to the U.S. Federal Reserve scaling back monetary stimulus, because of its large current account deficit and reliance on outside capital. The next biggest increases in enquiries came from Argentina, in the midst

of a currency crisis, and Ukraine, which is reeling from a wave of political unrest. Enquiries from both countries spiked 67 percent. Other members of the fragile five group also saw a pickup in internet househunting in London’s plushest neighbourhoods. Enquiries from Indonesia and Turkey, which have both endured weeks of capital flight and falling currencies, rose 10 percent, while South African interest climbed 9 percent and Indian interest was up 3 percent. London and the top end of its property market is a well established harbor for money fleeing economic and political instability, because of Britain’s relative stability and a tax regime that historically goes easy on foreign residents’ overseas wealth. However the issue of foreign property purchases is politically controversial, with many media reports saying expensive houses and apartments are often bought only as investments and are left unoccupied. The Guardian daily reported this week that several mansions on The Bishops Avenue had been left empty and were falling into disrepair. Following is a summary of percentage changes in visits to Knight Frank’s website from specific countries in the 12 months to the end of January 2014 versus the prior 12 months.

tory. The agreement was signed in Abakaliki between the Ebonyi Government and Integrated Nigeria Ltd. led by former Vice President Alex Ekwueme. In his speech at the signing ceremony, Gov. Martin Elechi of Ebonyi expressed confidence in the ability of the firm to do a good job. “The architectural plans of Dr Alex Ekwueme have never been faulted, distorted or amended from conception to final execution. “We are confident that his company will do this job professionally and satisfactorily.’’ The governor described the project as a sacrifice by the former vice president to salvage the state, considering his personal integrity, competence and profession of architecture and town planning. “I say so because according to the evaluation report by the State Council on Public Procurement, Integrated Nigeria Ltd. was recommended among the four bidders. “We are therefore, confident that the job will be handled by the best of professionals. “The government and the people of Ebonyi expect that the job will be done as fast as possible.’’ Ekwueme promised to deliver the job on schedule and gave the assurance that his company would not disappoint the state. He said that his firm had put together a team of professionals to execute the project, adding that a quality master plan would ensure orderliness. “Without a quality master plan, development of any town or city will always be disorderly. “We would ensure that the vision of the governor for the state is realised. “We appreciate the enormity of the responsibility entrusted on us by the government and people of Ebonyi. We promise to deliver and not disappoint the people,’’ Ekwueme said. Also speaking, the Chairman, Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board, Mr Edward Nkwegu, said the master plan would promote systematic and controlled growth of infrastructure within the capital city. “The plan would also discourage unplanned development of the city and limit the unprecedented migration of rural population to urban areas,’’ he said.

Elechi


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Aviation

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

35

FAA Category One Status

Experts express fears over Nigeria Less than two weeks ago, the American Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, downgraded India aviation to Category Two following several lapses noticed in its aviation industry. Stakeholders and professionals in the Nigerian aviation industry say, Nigeria may the next. OLUSEGUN KOIKI writes.

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he United States of America, U.S.A, Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, on Friday January 31, 2014 announced that India has been assigned a Category Two rating under its International Aviation Safety Assessment, IASA, programme, based on a recent reassessment of the country’s civil aviation authority. The downgrading of the India’s civil aviation safety oversight regime means that the country does not currently comply with the international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO. But, FAA said that it would continue to work with India’s Directorate General for Civil Aviation, DGCA, to identify the remaining steps necessary to regain Category One status for India. With a Category two rating, India’s carriers can continue existing service to the United States, but will not be allowed to establish new service to the United States. India achieved a Category One rating, signifying compliance with ICAO standards, in August 1997. A December 2012 ICAO audit identified deficiencies in the ICAO-set global standards for oversight of aviation safety by India’s DGCA. Nigeria on the other hand attained the Category One rating, in September 2010, after several years of being blacklisted by the USA. The attainment of the category one status made Nigeria the sixth African nation to do so after Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Egypt, Morocco and South Africa. But, the recent downgrading of India aviation industry by FAA is giving some aviation players in the country a call for concern as they fear that Nigeria may be the next country to be hit with the FAA’s sledge hammer as a result of several safety lapses in the system and interferences in the running of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, by the ministry of aviation. Although, the navigational aids in the Nigerian airspace has improved over the years, but not yet perfect as some users of the facilities still complain of some loopholes in the system. Besides, stakeholders feel that there are still several open items yet to be closed by Nigeria over three years after the country attained the current status.

Several stakeholders and professionals in the system have raised the alarm over the interference of government in the running of the industry’s agencies especially NCAA, warning that if this continues; the FAA category one status may be a thing of the past very soon. However, the audit exercise of the Nigerian aviation industry was supposed to take place this month, following a letter suggesting this to the NCAA by FAA, but the regulatory agency in his reply suggested a postponement of the exercise to a later date due to its unpreparedness. Commenting on the issue, a member of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, Mr. Sheri Kyari said that the downgrade of India aviation industry by FAA does not automatically translate to the downgrading of the Nigeria’s aviation industry even though, the former’s sector is wider than that of Nigeria. Kyari noted that the recent bombings and attacks in India might have resulted into the downgrading of its aviation sector by FAA, but informed that if Nigeria does its homework very well, it might scale the hurdle. He expressed that if the FAA visit Nigeria’s aviation industry at the moment, there is every possibility that the country might not scale the hurdle as there are several items yet to be closed by the regulatory authority. He explained that the downgrading of any country’s civil aviation sector means that FAA could not guarantee safety of

BUT IF WE ARE ABLE TO DO OUR IN-HOUSE WORK VERY WELL, WE MAY NOT IN THE REAL SENSE OF IT LOSE CATEGORY ONE LOOKING AT THE VOLUME OF AVIATION ACTIVITIES IN

NIGERIA

Oduah

Capt. Fola Akinkuotu

aircraft emanating from such a country while economic activities would also be affected. In order for Nigeria to continue to enjoy the high rating, he challenged the government to provide all the financial resources required for the exercise, maintaining that the exercise involves lots of money to carry out. He added that if the country is downgraded, it means travellers to and from the US would have a herculean task assessing the two countries and the lone country’s carrier operating the route, Arik Air might not be allowed to fly into the soil of the U.S. any longer. He said, “India is more developed than us, but they are also having a very complex system than what we have here. But if we are able to do our in-house work very well, we may not in the real sense of it lose category one looking at the volume of aviation activities in Nigeria. “In India, there are many airlines and it has also witnessed a lot of bombings and attacks, making the country not to be very secured as such, but if their aviation facilities are secured and they are maintaining their aeroplanes accordingly, I don’t know the actual reason they were downgraded, but this does not imply that we will lose our category one, we may still retain it if we do our job very well before the FAA comes to audit the facilities. At least, we have checklists and

Kyari

I want to believe the NCAA is looking at the checklist very well. “As it is today, one can say there are doubts because there is so much to be done and if there is so much to be done, FAA comes in here today, there is a tendency we may not pass category one audit, but because of the time that is still available, we may be able to achieve category one.” Besides, just recently, a pressure group in the sector, Aviation Round Table, ART, warned that the country risks losing its US FAA-awarded Category One rating due to interference by the supervising ministry of aviation in aviation regulation. The President, ART, Capt. Dele Ore said that the much-touted autonomy secured for NCAA in 2006 is a ruse, as officials of the supervising ministry are not giving the regulatory agency the free hand to do its job. “I am scared, the Aviation Round Table makes bold to say that the Category One status that we are so proud of is already been threatened and if we are able to sustain it for another six months under this dispensation, we will be too lucky. “It did not take Ghana one year before losing her category one status. We are on the verge of losing it because of these undue interferences of government in safety and economic regulation. It is not done. ICAO is against it. “ICAO makes sure that it is a standard within, which we cannot go. We cannot say that there is a Nigerian style of aviation. If we must do our own Nigerian style, we must go ahead in line with Article 38 of the Chicago convention.” Ore said under the present dispensation, safety and economy regulation are being manipulated from the ministry of aviation “and that is exactly why the ECOWAS parliament said that there should be no ministry of aviation in their member states.” But, NCAA has assured that the Category One rating is not by any way threatened. The agency said the structures and processes that led to the attainment and sustenance of the rating for Nigeria were intact, and that the autonomy of NCAA has not been tampered with as is being alleged by some players in the sector.


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Aviation

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Peacock expands offices in UK, to commence airline operations STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he leading Nigerian travels tours company, Peacock Travels and Tours said it is planning expanding its scope in the United Kingdom, UK, with the acquisition of another existing agency in South London. This is as the travel company said that plans are underway to own its own airline before the end of the year. The company, which expanded its operations to UK some few years back, is also operating in South Africa and some other major countries in the world. An online statement signed by one of the managers of the company, Mr. Keith Lyold said that the company had been looking to buy either a start-up travel agency or an existing agency in the European country. Lyold said that the deal is expected to be completed before the first half of the year, adding that the management has ambitious plans for the business. He said, “Now that we have come across this one, we are going to go ahead and buy it. We need to be on the street, we have got to have shop front.

“We had liked to think that Peacock will expand and we will be all over the UK at some point, but it won’t be happening overnight. We are looking to get our own airline this year as well, which at the moment we are finding difficult, but we’ll get there.” Alongside the retail travel agency, Peacock also runs a UK operator, which specialises in North Cyprus. Lloyd promised a big campaign with the trade and talked about expanding the division by going into wine tours and holidays in the Philippines. Peacock was started in 1997 in Nigeria and the company has of-

fices in South Africa as well as in the UK. Lloyd has high hopes for the new venture and said he would like to add “anything over and above” the business existing turnover of about £1.5 million. He also spoke positively about the future of the traditional travel agent. He added, “The demise of the travel agent on the high street has always been there. It is not going to happen. It never will. I think a lot more people are now starting to book with an agency of long standing, because they can recognise the value, the tradition and the experience.”

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South African Airways aircraft

Airside shegzzy4live2000@yahoo.co.uk 08186007273

The Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in aviation industry

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nnovation is good, but not one which will return one to the Stone Age, which is probably what the country’s aviation industry is witnessing at the moment. Airside was amazed recently when it first came as a rumour, but later confirmed to be true that the country’s aviation industry has a Coordinating General Manager, Information and Communication, for Agencies. What this simply means is that the Nigerian aviation sector big as it is now has one spokesman for all the agencies. Without the coordinator, no one talks. What a powerful position! With this title, all other spokesmen in agencies like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB and even Nigerian

Meteorological Agency, NIMET, can only be seen, but not heard. Ironically, the coordinating GM has little or no knowledge about the running of the country’s aviation industry, but he’s given the sole power to speak on agencies he knows virtually nothing about. Airside thinks this position is absurd and unheard of in a global aviation sector, but unfortunately, those who are supposed to protest this absurdity are looking the other way round and only prefer to murmur underground. This ‘innovation’ is a step forward and five steps backward. Airside feels we don’t need an Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who is the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance in the Nigerian aviation industry. Time to do away with such bogus title is now.

Time for financial results, where are Nigerian airlines?

M L-R: MD, Aerofleet, Mr. Kunbi Demuren; MD, Fast Forward Aviation Services, Mr. Dotun Ayo-Babalola; Chairman, Board of Directors, nahcoaviance, Mallam Sulaiman Yahyah; MD, nahcoaviance, Mr. Kayode Ojo and Chairman, National Association of Government Approved Freight forwarders, NAGAFF, Mr. Segun Musa, at the Appreciation Night organised by nahcoaviance for its customers in Lagos recently.

South African Airways’ income increases by 14% outh African Airways, SAA, has released its 2012/13 Annual Financial Statements showing a cost savings in excess of R1billion and a 14% increase in total income. The financial results were released last week following the airline’s Annual General Meeting held at its Kempton Park headquarters. An online media statement released to the media by the airline’s media consultant in Nigeria stated that the airline reported total revenue of R27.1billion in the year under review against the previous financial year’s R23.9billion. The increase in revenue is attributed to various factors including seven per cent increase in airfares despite competition

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from the Middle East region continuing to place pressure on average airfares; eight per cent increase in revenue passengers with domestic routes traditionally contributing positively to the airlines performance; and three per cent increase in available capacity. New destinations and frequencies launched during 2011 are now maturing and making positive contribution to the airline’s improving revenue. Additional routes launched in 2012 are similarly starting to yield more positive returns. Fuel cost and the weakening of the ZAR against the US dollar among other factors continue to impact severely on the airline’s operating costs. Despite the challenging and

competitive environment, SAA delivered a 40 per cent improvement in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) from a loss of R705m in 2012 to a loss of R425 in 2013. After depreciation, amortisation, finance costs and investment income, the airline reported a 14 per cent improvement in the loss before tax from R1.4 billion to R1.2 billion. Fuel cost had the most impact on long haul routes where the existing fleet is fuel inefficient. The average fuel price was at levels in excess of US $110, which further eroded route profitability. While operating cost reflect a 12 per cent year-on-year increase, fuel remains the single biggest cost to SAA having increased from 34 per cent to 35 per cent of operating cost. For the period under review, fuel cost increased by 15 per cent to R1.3 billion. Operating costs, excluding uncontrollable costs, decreased by two per cent. During this period, SAA embarked on Cost Compression Programme to re-engineer processes in order to derive sustainable cost benefits going forward.

ajor airlines all over the world are releasing in quick succession their financial results for 2013 and also working on improving their weaknesses. This is good for the global aviation industry as it affords the public the opportunity to know the financial states of most of these airlines. But, the reverse is the case in the country’s airline-sub-sector as the airlines continue to keep mute about their financial positions to the public despite the request from stakeholders and pro-

fessionals in the industry. The argument brought forward by these airlines is that they are not public quoted companies and so, there financial status should not be in the public domain. Airside however uses this medium to challenge the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to at least for once release the financial status of these airlines to the public for them to know their status. This will go a long way in the flying public having some levels of confidence in their operations.

Etihad Airways establishes new sales region for Africa

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he national airline of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, Etihad Airways, says it is increasing its commitment to Africa with the establishment of a new sales region - Africa Sub-Sahara and Indian Ocean, AFI. This brings to seven the number of geographical regions that make up the global sales structure. Online media statement sent by the airline’s media agent in Nigeria stated that other regions include the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East, North Africa and Levant, Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific North and the Indian Subcontinent, and Asia Pacific South and Australasia. Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Baumgartner, said, “Africa is quickly developing into the next big investment destination, with business growth on the rise and

African economies amongst the fastest growing in the world. “We are experiencing strong passenger loads right across the continent, with passengers travelling through our hub in Abu Dhabi to the key commercial and tourism destinations in the Middle East, and further afield, to Europe, North America, the Indian Subcontinent, North Asia, South East Asia and Australia.” The new AFI region currently covers six countries across Africa, including: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, and the Republic of the Seychelles and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Etihad Airways currently operates 90 flights per week between these countries and its hub in Abu Dhabi - and this is further extended regionally by its codeshare agreements with Royal Air Maroc, South African Airways, Kenya Airways, and its equity partner Air Seychelles.


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Insurance

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

37

Vehicle insurance: ‘Patronising touts no longer viable’ insurance companies to market their insurance policies and programmes. What we came up with is a system that will also automate the process of issuing motor vehicle insurance like the process of issuing motor vehicle licence. The government is aware that there is a policy in place for every vehicle. In different states, they have their own appointed insurance scheme and not necessarily Auto Insure scheme. So, in Auto Insure, we don’t have a licence as an insurance company but what we have is a platform for insurance companies to come and sell their insurance policies.

Courteville Business Solutions Plc pioneered the use of technology to dismantle the bottleneck surrounding motor vehicle registration in Nigeria through the AutoReg innovation. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Adebola Akindele, in this interview with MESHACK IDEHEN says Nigeria will soon start exporting technology and business solutions like other developed nations. What has Courteville Business Solutions Plc been up to since its innovative solutions in the area of motor vehicle registration via the AutoReg? The company is doing very well even as we aim to try to diversify our portfolios with less attention on government projects and more attention and focus in the private sector. Amongst other portfolios, the company also operates an online gateway to commerce called “Egole”, which is a web based portal that allows various merchants of different categories, service providers and consumers to transact business (buying and selling) online, real-time. The company developed and deployed this robust, flexible and secure platform as a one stop business community in cyberspace, which affords everyone the opportunity to buy and sell goods and services globally via the internet. It is indeed a well thought through platform that guarantees both the merchants and consumers convenience in usage and security. All online transactions on the platform are highly secured with international standard and best practices. The platform is fully supported by our vastly experienced and seasoned professional team. What is the relationship between Courteville Business Solutions Plc and the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), and what is the relationship meant to achieve in the immediate and longer term? The company recently deployed the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) solution which is an initiative of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) to create a central insurance database wherein details of all vehicle insurance policies issued by insurance companies are updated. This is to create an authentic and verifiable database of motor vehicle insurance in Nigeria. The NIID solution is designed to help Insurers and the NIA monitor and authenticate all insurance policies issued in Nigeria toward reducing the incidence of fraudulent transactions and the loss of business by the insurance companies. The motor vehicle insurance policy module is the first part of the project that has commenced, while other insurance cover types are expected to commence soon. It is clear therefore from all indications within the next few months that any motor vehicle with an insurance policy that the information is not stored on the NIID platform and cannot be verified by law enforcement officers will be running foul of the law. How does the AutoReg operate, and what value would you say the innovation has brought to bear in the registration, insuring and documentation of vehicles in Nigeria? It is a web-based business solution for motor vehicle documentation developed and patented for 20 years by our company to address the inefficiencies of motor vehicle administration system. It is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. The innovation is now in operation in more than 22 states in the country is currently deployed in over 5,000 processing points. The innovation has created the best online, real-time records, for government and its agencies thereby elimi-

Akindele

THE NIID SOLUTION IS DESIGNED TO HELP INSURERS AND THE NIA MONITOR AND AUTHENTICATE ALL INSURANCE POLICIES ISSUED IN

NIGERIA

TOWARD REDUCING THE INCIDENCE OF FRAUDULENT TRANSACTIONS AND THE LOSS OF BUSINESS BY THE INSURANCE COMPANIES nating cases of duplicated registration of motor vehicle number plates. We have also created the largest and most authentic database of motor vehicles and motor vehicle owners in sub-Sahara Africa consisting of over 9million records. The AutoReg solution now cover all other motor vehicle documentation service such as Roadworthiness certification, Hackney Permit and in fact third party insurance issuance, while revenue from motor vehicle administration activities have increased by over 250% within the first 2 months and revenue continues to increase in states where we are operational. We have provided the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and other law enforcement agencies with handheld devices, which they currently use for the verification of motor vehicle documentation and driver’s Licenses from anywhere on Nigerian roads. This service is to be provided in Sierra Leone. We currently collaborate and provide invaluable assistance to insurance companies and law enforcement agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Economic & Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the State Security Service, in the investigation and tracking of criminal suspects. What about the Auto Insure innovation? Courteville Business Solutions Plc has developed a marketing platform for all insurance houses to sell genuine insurance policies. The Auto Insure policy pays more claim than other third party policies and most of the insurance companies in the country are already partnering with Courteville Business Solutions Plc on this product. It has to be clear however that Auto Insure is not an insurance policy; it is a marketing platform created for

What is your opinion on the performance of the National Insurance Commission and the NIA? NAICOM and NIA have done extremely well, and it is my belief that both organisations will successfully take the NIID to the desired level. With the development that NAICOM, the NIA and private sector players like Courteville Business Solutions has brought to bear in the industry, it surely makes no sense for anyone to patronise touts as far as vehicle insurance and registration are concerned. The development in the sector must be sustained using the NIID, as it is crucial that all vehicl es have valid vehicle insurance. Indeed, the NID Director General, Mr. Sunday Thomas must be commended for doing a wonderful job. What is the latest with the African expansion plans of your company? The AutoReg for example is now functional in the Caribbean and other African countries, including Sierra Leone, Gambia and Ghana. This is in pursuit of the company’s dynamic growth strategy, as Nigeria would soon become a major exporter of technology and business solution around the world.

Oil, gas insurance’ll grow premium, not deepen market MESHACK IDEHEN

T

he Managing Director of RiskGurad Africa, Mr. Yemi Soladoye, has said retail insurance is the way to go for insurance operators. He said the future of retail insurance lies in oil and gas retail insurance, saying that is the way to go for any insurance company that knows what it is doing and that local content on oil and gas risk will only grow the premium income but will not expand the market. Soladoye told journalists any society where retail insurance does not take prominence means that such insurance has not really developed, adding retail insurance enables stable financial account, against volatile wholesale market; cost effective business; as well as direct impact and relationship with your customers. According to him, retail is not only about direct underwriting alone, as there are about 14 avenues of distributing insurance at the same time which have to be implemented by insurers. He explained there was nothing stopping an insurance broker from having about 200/300 agents, saying brokers traditionally pursue the wholesale market, pointing out a cursory look at the 14 avenues of marketing retail insurance will reveal as an industry, that the country insurance industry is not utilizing the opportunities available. Soladoye noted when insurers talk about oil and gas, that the interest of all of them is to grow their premium, saying also that the management and board of any insurance company that is not deep into retail business should go and re-strategise because in the next three years any insurance company that is not in retail will find itself far behind.


38

Insurance

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

RSA increase will improve workers’ status STORIES: MESHACK IDEHEN

T

he Chief Executive Officer of Premium Pension Limited, Mr. Wilson Ideva, has said an increase in the money payable into the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) is aimed at improving the country’s workers’ lot. This increment is one of the issues proposed in the Pension Reform Bill, which is already at an advanced stage of legislative processing, withthe recommendation in the new bill being that employers and employees contributions in the scheme be raised from a total of 15 per cent to 20 percent. Speaking at inaugural lecture in Lagos, Ideva said the move is aimed at making workers even better off on retirement, saying the bill sought among other things to enhance the enforcement responsibilities of the regulatory institution, ensure further airtight protection of pension funds and unpack the possibilities of creatively and professionally applying pension funds for

D.G. Pencom, Mrs. Anohu Amazu

national development. According to him, the bill also seeks to expand the scheme to include the informal sector, adding it also sought the establishment of Pension Transition Arrangement Departments chargewith

the responsibility of ensuring a seamless remittance of benefits under the Defined Benefits Scheme. Ideva explained it was under the management of defined benefits that reports of corrupt and untoward practices have emanated in recent times, noting the law establishing the industry would make pension funds tamperproof and mechanisms were firmly in place to eliminate unethical features in all its ramifications. “We are proud to state that PPL is one of the PFAs shortlisted to manage Retirement Savings Accounts for public servants in Delta State under the contributory pension scheme. The company has already commenced the payment of entitlements to retirees in the state under the scheme,” he said. According to him, Delta State is in no small measure instrumental to the success recorded by Premium Pension in the enlistment of state public servants in the country, adding Premium Pension had a highly rewarding experience in the advancement of the contributory pension scheme in the state.

NEM records N680m profit

N

EM Insurance Plc says it recorded N680.5m gross profit before tax and N455m profit after tax in the 2012 financial period. According to a statement by the Chairman of the company of the company, Chief Adewale Teluwo, during the firm’s 43rd Annual General Meeting in Lagos, the firm, in the year under review made profit before tax of N680.5m which represents an increase of 75.8 per cent over that of year 2011. The chairman said that the firm would reward its shareholders with six kobo

dividend by share in the year under review. He said that despite the challenges in the reporting standard and the huge writeoff of the firm’s debts, it was still able to make a good result, saying the aggressive marketing drive put in place brought about the generation of a gross premium of N9.65bn, an increase of 15.2 per cent above the previous year’s figure. According to him, the group’s investment income increased by 35.9 per cent over the previous year’s figure. He said that one good selling point of its business was

prompt settlement of claims and that as the company was expanding, the volume of claims was increasing. The chairman said that the claims paid by the group in 2012 increased by 62.1 per cent over the 2011 figure, noting the group’s financial assets in the year under review increased by 26.7 per cent over the 2011 figure, while total assets and total equity increased by 23.7 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively. According to him, the company maintained its norm on the enhancement of employee’s welfare and training; therefore, salary

AIICO promotes e-insurance

A

IICO Insurance Plc says it has introduced AIICO e-insurance an online service that will provide convenience in the purchase and renewal of insurance policies by its customers. According to a statement from the firm, the service will also allow customers to pay premium, manage policies, request for quotes and report claims online from the comfort of any location with Internet access,” the statement said. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Edwin Igbiti, said, “AIICO e-insurance has come to change the face of the insurance industry in Nigeria. The

insurance industry has become very competitive and companies are finding many ways of retaining clients and attracting new ones. “AIICO, under its new management, has come up with new strategies to stay ahead as the market leader by building and exploiting many transient competitive advantages. Our intention is to be fluid in innovation and more customer-centric.” According to him, the introduction of the AIICO e-insurance platform is part of the firm’s quest for service excellence. He said AIICO was committed to continuously deliver improved service quality and value to its customers.

Igbiti

review was done while those who performed well on their jobs were promoted. He said the open-door policy being operated by the management enabled the employees to be close to the company and encouraged a friendly as well as good working atmosphere that brought the best out of the workforce. The Group Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Tope Smart, said that its subsidiary in Ghana was growing steadily, adding that it recorded a net profit after tax of N21m in the year under review from a figure of N6m in 2011.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

How to buy building insurance

B

uilding insurance has become a must in most parts of the world, hence buying building insurance is not only a smart business decision in order to protect your property, it is usually a condition to getting a mortgage on the building. While lenders might recommend a particular insurance company to use, you do not have to use their choice.A much better deal might be found by checking with different insurance companies. Here are some things to take into consideration when looking into the purchase of commercial building insurance. Hire a certified professional to evaluate the worth of your buildingThis person will take outside factors such as location and highway access into consideration when determining the value of your building. Make an inventory of items inside the building that must be insuredFor instance, the owner of an apartment building that supplies kitchen appliances and/or laundry facilities should have them insured against catastrophic loss. Add in floor coverings and light fixtures as well as any other amenity provided that could be destroyed by forces beyond your control. Look into the costs of insurance for “lost rental”- income that a landlord often faces when tenant are barred from the property due to an insured loss, a process that can literally take months. This can be very helpful if you have a small apartment building and count on the rental income each month. Make sure your tenant in a commercial building used as a retail outlet is carrying enough insurance to cover the fixtures and inventor. You will be responsible for the structure and any permanent fixtures. This same requirement is needed if your commercial building is an office complex, the tenants will need to carry rental insurance to cover their personal property, but you will need coverage for the permanent installations as well as the building itself. Make sure that all of your insurance quotes include liability insurance- This is necessary whether you are an owner occupant or a landlord. Check to see if you need extra riders for a catastrophic weather event such- as a tornado or hurricane. Some areas require flood insurance which is not included on most insurance policies, so make sure you find out if you need it. You can find out about the necessity for flood insurance from your real estate agent or the local government. Make sure you have a separate flood insurance policy- Also make sure that there is coverage for accidents like a clogged pipe or overflowing toilet. Look into loss of use insurance now offered by many commercial property insurers- It pays for the rental of a new facility while covered repairs are being made to your building. Source: www.insur.net


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

39

NSE inducts 37 brokers as index dips 0.3% JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday inducted 37 stockbrokers to meet the needs of customers. Speakign at the ceremony in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema said that out of 116 candidates that passed the March 2013 and September 2013 Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers examinations, 48 candidates went through the Authomated Trading System. According to him, out of the 48 candidates, 40 of them passed the oral examination of the Excahnge, while 37 of them have been registered and inducted.

He reiterated that the Excahnge maintains zero tolerance for sharp practices and it has deployed requisite technology and expertise to curb and arrest any form of manipulation from all quarters. “In line with the aforementioned, the NSE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to increase cooperation and communication in the fight against financial crimes in the capital market. “The modalities of the Memorandum of Understanding cover information sharing, stronger partnerships, capacity building and institutional support in the EFCC,” he added. Meanwhile, trading in

equities closed on a bearish note on the Exchange, as some investors dumped their holdings. Specifically, the All Share Index dropped 0.31 per cent to close at 40,647.80 points, compared to the gain of 0.02 per cent recorded on Friday to close at 40,773.50 points. Market capitalisation shed N41bn to close at N13. 029trn, as against the increase of N3bn recorded on Friday to close at N13.07trn. International Energy Insurance Plc led the gainers’ table with eight kobo or 9.88 per cent to close at 89 kobo per share, followed by Beta Glass Plc with 97 kobo or 4.98 per cent to close at N20.44 per share. Presco Plc gained N2.19 or 4.98 per cent to close at N46.18 per share, while Red

Star Express Plc added 20 kobo or 4.55 per cent to close at N4.60 per share. Julius Berger Plc rose N3.05 or 4.30 per cent to close at N74.05 per share. Conversely, Cutix Plc fell 11 kobo or 4.91 per cent to close at N2.13 per share, while Transnational Express Plc shed 12 kobo or 4.86 per cent to close at N2.35 per share. NSL Tech Plc dipped three kobo or 4.84 per cent to close at 59 kobo per share, while Oando Plc depreciated N1.02 or 4.67 per cent to close at N20.81 per share. Prestige Insurance Plc declined three kobo or 4.48 per cent to close at 64 kobo per share. A total of 445.5 million shares valued at N5.23bn were traded in 4,591 deals.

Remittances to Africa rises to 11% in 2012 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

A

head of Foreign Direct Investment and Official Development Assistance, remittances have become the external financial source to Africa. In 2012, for the first time, remittances to Africa represented 11 per cent of global remittances, compared to eight per cent in 2001. Speaking at a press conference in Lagos yesterday, the MoneyGram Inter-

national’s Executive Vice President for Europe, Africa and Emerging Channels, Mr. Carl Olav-Scheible, said that an estimated 13 per cent of remittances come from sub-Saharan Africa. According to him, the African Diaspora currently consists of more than 30 million individuals living outside their countries of origin. He said,”It is estimated that these migrants contribute approximately $40bn in remittances to

their families and communities at home every year.” Olav-Scheible explained that during times of financial and political turmoil, workers’ remittances are being recognised for their contribution to the economic health of the region’s nations, as well as their importance to recipient families. He stressed that African remittance market exhibits a relatively low level of competition and has limited payout presence in rural

areas, as two major money transfer companies control nearly 60 per cent of payout locations. “Effectively, 80 per cent of African countries restrict the type of institutions able to offer remittance services to banks. “Mobile money is transfers is transforming the East African remittance market and providing access to low value money transfers both domestically and internationally,” he said.

Emerging markets growth slows to four-month low

B

usiness activity across emerging markets expanded in January at the slowest pace in four months, dragged down by sluggish services sectors in the BRIC quartet of big developing countries, a survey showed on Monday. HSBC’s composite emerging markets index of manufacturing and services purchasing managers’ surveys slipped for the second month running to 51.4 in January. It stayed under the 2013 average of 51.7 and well below the score of 64.1 posted last January. But the monthly index remained above the 50

threshold which marks the difference between expansion and contraction. Based on data from purchasing managers at about 8,000 firms in 17 countries, the survey showed signs of manufacturing and export revival in some countries but Chinese factory output fell below the 50 mark, Brazilian manufacturing growth slowed and output fell in Russia and Indonesia. Growth was stronger in India, Poland, Taiwan and Mexico. January services activity in the biggest emerging markets was at a six-month low. India and Brazil both posted de-

clines, while growth rates in China and Russia were weak, HSBC said. HSBC’s global head of emerging markets research, Pablo Goldberg, said the data showed a clear divergence in recovery pattern between emerging economies. “Among the winners, we have countries in a clear cyclical recovery that are being lifted by the improvement in the developed markets: Mexico, Poland and the Czech Republic,” Goldberg said. “By contrast, PMIs decelerated in Turkey, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia. These are among the countries where deterio-

rating external balances have prevented monetary easing or forced tightening.” Several emerging central banks such as Turkey, India, South Africa and Brazil have tightened monetary policy in recent weeks and many more are expected to follow suit, with severe consequences for economic growth. While inflationary pressures were subdued, weak currencies were raising costs for some manufacturers, HSBC said. Turkish firms for instance saw the steepest rise in input prices in nearly three years, a result of the lira’s fall to record lows.

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 40,647.80 points Market capitalisation 13.029 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY INTENEGINS

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

0.81

0.89

0.08

9.88

BETAGLAS

19.47

20.44

0.97

4.98

PRESCO

43.99

46.18

2.19

4.98

4.40

4.60

0.20

4.55

REDSTAREX JBERGER

71.00

74.05

3.05

4.30

RTBRISCOE

1.32

1.37

0.05

3.79

COSTAIN

2.01

2.08

0.07

3.48

WEMABANK

1.02

1.05

0.03

2.94

UNIONDICON

12.15

12.45

0.30

2.47

0.91

0.93

0.02

2.20

AIICO

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

CUTIX

2.24

2.13

-0.11

-4.91

TRANSEXPR

2.47

2.35

-0.12

-4.86 -4.84

NSLTECH

0.62

0.59

-0.03

21.83

20.81

-1.02

-4.67

PRESTIGE

0.67

0.64

-0.03

-4.48

IKEJAHOTEL

0.77

0.74

-0.03

-3.90

OANDO

ABCTRANS CCNN COURTVILLE FBNH

0.93

0.90

-0.03

-3.23

10.72

10.40

-0.32

-2.99

0.80

0.78

-0.02

-2.50

14.70

14.35

-0.35

-2.38

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

32,888.90

11.60

24-Oct-13

182-Day

30,000.00

12.09

24-Oct-13

364-Day

31,385.00

13.27

24-Oct-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

164-Day

47,176.65

12.30

24-Oct-13

161-Day

47,662.59

12.30

24-Oct-13

136-Day

13,500.00

12.10

24-Oct-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$296m

23-Oct-13

$300m

N/A

$299m

21-Oct-13


40

Capital Market

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at February 10, 2014 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 and the people live in peace with each other. Yakasai added that his group is committed to the Nigerian project and recognised the significance of Nigeria’s centenary as a political entity and called on all Nigerians to serve as agents of consolidation of national unity and continued existence of the nation as one indivisible country. He added: “We reject intimidation, threat and violence; leaders and elders must lead by example. It is unacceptable for elders to make inciting and inflammatory statements capable of breaching the peace. We say no to war- like and belligerent posture,” in an address at the inauguration attended by delegates from the 19 Northern states. While declaring the support of the group for the forth coming national dialogue and the modalities which have been adopted for selecting the delegates, Yakasai pointed out that the dialogue will strengthen national unity, saying: “Let me reiterate that the purpose for the establishment of NEC is to protect the socio-economic and political interest of the North, the corporate existence and stability of the Nigerian nation.” Speaking at the event, the Kaduna State governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, said the emergence of the NEC was not only timely, but imperative to the stability of the North, especial at this critical time. Yero maintained that “as an ardent believer in the power of dialogue among diverse people, I salute the courage of our elders in forming this eminent group and I declare my absolute support to the ideals of the NEC.” A communiqué which was later issued commending President Jonathan’s administration for the great socio-economic strides in all sectors, especially the Almajiri schools, the girl child education, the establishment of universities, agriculture, power reforms and development of physical infrastructure, and his determination and multi-dimensional strategy in dealing with the insurgency in the North East. Among those who attended the inauguration was the secretary of the council, Chief John Mankling, Alhaji Hassan Adamu (Wakilin Adamawa), Mr. Benjamin Shatta, Ambassador Yusuf Mamman, Senator Ladan Shuni, Mr. Bitrus Gwada, Senator Ahmed Mukhtar Aruwa, and Alhaji Ibrahim Biu. Also in attendance were former Minister of Transport, Col. Bala Mande (rtd), former Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Jonah Madugu, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali, Senator Hamisu Musa, Alhaji Maitama Yusuf, Dr Muhammed Shatta, former speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Mrs. Margret Ichen, Ambassador Abdullahi Shinkafi, Alhaji Saidu Umar Kumo and Alhaji Abdullahi Gumel among others.

Anti Jonathan/Sambo forces in the North Northern socio-political groups, ACF, and NEF have contended that Jonathan should quit the Presidency for the North in 2015, saying that Jonathan was behind political crisis in Nigeria, which was aimed at paving way for his re-election bid.

41

2015: Jonathan/Sambo ticket, uneasy calm in the North over presidency IT IS HOWEVER CERTAIN THAT THE DAYS AHEAD WILL SURE BE INTERESTING AS THE TWO OPPOSING

CAMPS, THE THE

PDP AND

APC BATTLE

FOR THE SOUL OF THE

NORTH-WEST

Abdullahi

The groups said they would resist any attempt by Jonathan to remain in power beyond 2015, saying the Northern numerical strength would defeat a Southern candidate this time around. Addressing a joint news conference in Kaduna recently, the Secretary of NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi asked President Jonathan to stop what they described as being desperate to hang onto power stressing that his recent action posed a threat to democracy. Abdullahi said: “The North is determined to make sure that power must return to the region. Our Northern population will keep us in power forever with one man one vote. The region has the voting power because the North constitutes 75 percent of Nigeria landmark. The alarming desperation of politicians to manoeuvre themselves in vantage positions for the electoral contests of 2015 is a major threat to the elections themselves and ultimately the democratic process. “We call on Nigerians to remain vigilant and resist all attempts to engineer conflict as a means to attaining political power in 2015.The hands of the presidency are clearly visible in all these events that appear to draw inspiration from the ambition of President Jonathan to stay in power in 2015.”

Exodus of PDP chieftains in Sambo’s zone Apart from the defection of Kano and Sokoto states governors, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko respectively from the PDP to the APC in the North West geopolitical zone, in what looks like a political tsunami in Kaduna, former chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Audi Yaro Makama and former commissioners among other party members have since defected to the APC in the state. Among the former members of the PDP who defected to the APC were former late Patrick Yakowa’s Campaign Director General during the 2011 elections, Ambassador Sule Buba and former chairman of Kaduna South Local Government Area, Alhaji Auwal Ali Tafoki.

Yakassai

Makama attributed their defection to injustice in PDP, saying that what was happening today in Nigeria was a political revolution which they cannot wait to be consumed by it. He said: “We cannot wait to be consumed by the political revolution that is happening in this country. The injustice in PDP is one reason why we left the party to APC. As you can see most of the people here are PDP members that have played a greater role in its development.” It said in a statement by its Publicty Secretary, Ibrahim Munsur that the PDP in the state and at the national level cannot be shaken by any group of persons who having lost political relevance is looking for a place to hide their irrelevance.

cus meeting is part of the requirement of the constitution of the party. Sambo informed the gathering that at the national level all hands are on deck to ensure that the party continues to grow and that in spite of everything the transformation agenda of President Jonathan was on course. The state PDP chairman, Abubakar Gaya Haruna said that despite the challenges, “we hold the ace in the political equation of the state.” He said that the defection of some of its members was blown out of proportion, adding that “the action is a calculated attempt to bring the party to disrepute. But the party has continued to wax stronger and determine to overcome the challenges.”

Sambo’s efforts to stop further defection from PDPin his zone

Sambo behind APC chieftains defection to PDP in North West

Following the internal crisis rocking the ruling PDP in Kaduna State leading to the defection of some of its former officials and stakeholders, Vice President Sambo, Governor Yero and other party stakeholders held a reconciliatory meeting in Kaduna as part of the effort to revive the fortunes of the party. Tagged Kaduna State PDP caucus meeting 2014, those in attendance said was aimed at taking stock of the recent happenings in the party, with a view to finding solutions and see how the party can move forward from there. Speaking at the gathering, Governor Yero, who acknowledged the impasse in the party, called on the members not to be deterred by recent happenings, adding that efforts are ongoing to make sure that aggrieved members are reconciled. On his part, Vice President Sambo, said the extended caucus meeting was to reposition the party to meet future challenges, as according to him, Kaduna State has always been a PDP state “and we will try to maintain the status quo, no matter the threat.” He thanked the members of the PDP North West zone for their recent appreciation visit to Jonathan, saying the cau-

Although, the ruling PDP has lost out two sitting governors and other chieftains to APC, its big wigs, including Sambo have facilitated the decampment of former Sokoto and Kano state governors, Attahiru Bafarawa and Ibrahim Shekarau to the PDP. The Kaduna State chairman of the PDP, Haruna also received former North West publicity secretary of the PDP and coordinator of Obasanjo/Atiku campaign Organisation in 1999 and 2003; Huseni Dembo back to the PDP maintaining that what is going on in the APC was political madness ahead of the 2015 elections. As the political events continue to unfold, especially in the North-West zone, it is yet to be seen how the Jonathan/ Sambo ticket will overcome the hurdles placed before it ahead of the 2015 presidential election. It is however certain that the days ahead will sure be interesting as the two opposing camps, the PDP and the APC battle for the soul of the North-West geo-political zone, the home zone of the incumbent Vice President who is by all calculations likely to return to run alongside his boss in 2015.


42

Politics

THE

PARLIAMENT

O

ne of the ready alibis that the 11 defecting senators from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have been flaunting to support their decision to cross carpet to the opposition All progressives Congress, APC, is the fact that there is already a precedence established in the House of Representatives where 37 members of that chamber of the National Assembly defected from the PDP to the APC late last year and have remained so without much fuss. There is also the argument that the issue of defection at the Senate has been as old as the present Senate itself, particularly since 2007, when David Mark mounted the saddle as the Senate President. Proponents of this theory point to the fact that since 2007, quite a number of senators have defected from other political parties to the PDP without any adverse consequences. The number is put at 14. Some of the past senators who had defected from other political parties to the PDP while in the Senate include, Senators Wahab Dosunmu, Fidelis Okoro, Adeseye Ogunlewe, Musiliu Obanikoro and Satti Gogwin, who all defected from the defunct Action Congress, AC, to the PDP; and the late Evans Enwerem, from the defunct All Peoples Party, APP to the PDP. The others were, Arthur Nzeribe, and John Nwanu, from the APP to the PDP, Uche Chukwumerije, from the PDP to the Peoples Progressive Alliance, PPA, Usman Kadir, Patricia Akawasike and Sadiq Yauo from the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP to the PDP, Patrick Osakwe, from Accord Party, AP, to the PDP, and Ajayi Borofice, from Labour Party, LP, first to the PDP and later the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. So, when on Wednesday, January 26, the arrow head of the 11 defecting PDP senators and the former chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, Senator Bukola Saraki submitted the letter of notification of their defection to the Senate President, Mark, he (Saraki) was all too sure that it was a fait accompli. For wherever were their source of their conviction, Saraki and his co-travelers were all also, basking in the euphoria that the letter would be read by Mark same day. And so, when the Senate concluded the day’s plenary without Mark reading the letter, the defecting senators, particularly the likes of Saraki, Danjuma Goje, Abdullahi Adamu, Aisha Alhassan, Ali Ndume and Magnus Abe were visibly seriously angry. Expectedly, the following day, the affected senators came to the Senate ready to do battle. But unfortunately, when Saraki first raised the issue, via order 15 of the Senate Standing Rules, insisting that the presiding Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, should read the letter, he was roundly outwitted by the argument of Ekweremadu that he was not in possession of the said letter, since the Senate President, who was away to Jigawa State on official visit did not deposit any such letter to

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Senate: Landmines litter pathways of defection When 11 senators elected on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, decided to defect to the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC, little did they know that the process would be as complex and complicated, writes GEORGE OJI.

Mark

him to be read. Goje, who came later in the plenary also raised the same issue, and unlike Saraki, he was more forceful in insisting that the defection letter be read by Ekweremadu. After a very heated argument and ensuing uproar, which enveloped the Senate for over 30 minutes, tempers and fraying nerves were temporarily calmed, with the explanations and assurances that the following Tuesday, February 4 when Mark would be present to preside over the affairs of the Senate, the letter would eventually be read. Unfortunately, that again was not to be. On the said Tuesday, Mark was again, absent from plenary, leaving Ekweremadu again to be in charge of affairs. Mark had gone to the State House, to attend the National Council of State meeting. Apparently expecting a battle from the defecting senators, the Senate commenced the day’s plenary with a closed door meeting, during which, according to sources, Ekweremadu took some time to educate the 11 lawmakers on the need for them to go about their ambition with caution so as not to erode the unity, oneness and cohesion for which the Senate has been associated with and held in high esteem for. Ekweremadu was also reported to have counselled the agitators to embrace the dialogue offer being extended to them by Mark as the best way forward. He made the point that Mark meant well for the defecting senators so that they would not take a wrong step. Ekweremadu was also reported to have cited the case of Senator Borofice who would have found himself in a mess during his defection days, but for the intervention of Mark who smoothened the way and saved the day for him. As has since been made known to the 11 senators wishing to defect to the opposi-

Saraki

EVEN THOUGH THE SENATE IS REPLETE WITH INSTANCES OF PAST SENATORS WHO AT ONE TIME OR THE OTHER DEFECTED TO THE RULING PDP, NONE OF THOSE DEFECTIONS WAS PRECEDED WITH A COURT ACTION

tion APC, their pathways to the proposed defection plan are laced with explosive land mines. Unlike their colleagues in the House of Representatives, the political gladiators are different, so also are the political actors and the circumstances now. In the House for instance, the defection was carried out before the court ruled on the issue. Secondly, and understandably too, the defecting lawmakers enjoyed the tacit sympathy of the Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal. Thirdly, the composition of the membership of the House was favourable to the idea itself. Mark has been reported to have laboured without success to make the point to the aggrieved lawmakers that even

though the Senate is replete with instances of past senators who at one time or the other defected to the ruling PDP, none of those defections was preceded with a court action, as none of the defectors in the past circumstances crossed over seeking any form of judicial remedies. The 11 defecting PDP senators were part of the 59 National Assembly members who had approached an Abuja Federal High Court, seeking a restraining order against the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. According to Mark, since in the instance case the affected senators on their own first approached the court to seek an injunction to prevent the Senate President and the Speaker of the House from taking any actions injurious to their defection, it then follows that the relevant rule of the Senate on the issue must apply. In a tacit admission of the restraints imposed by the legal action, 13 senators (before the number thinned down to 11), had in a letter written to the Senate President, before the submission of their defection letter to Mark, alluded to the court ruling, asking the concerned parties to maintain the status quo ante until the final determination of the matter. Mark who based his position on order 53(5) of the Senate Standing Rules insisted that felt constrained to read the said defection letter as expected by the 11 defecting senators to give full effect to the defection. Senate spokes person, Enyinnya Abaribe who made the position of the Senate President public while briefing Senate correspondents last week on the matter explained that “in the past, senators have defected but they have not gone to court against the presiding officer. The senators who are now defecting have first gone to court against the presiding officer. ” Another issue Mark has made clear to the defecting senators is that if they insist that he reads their defection letter and in future the court later goes ahead to invalidate their defection he (Mark) would not have any other option but to declare their seats vacant as specified by section 68(1)(g) of the 1999 constitution as amended. The said section states that “a member of the Senate or House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House for which he is a member if being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by one political party, he becomes a member of any other political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected, provided his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or a merger of two or more political parties or factions CONTINUED ON PAGE 43


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THE

PARLIAMENT

Politics

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Round two of budget war as Reps resume today

The House of Representatives Resumes today on a fiery note, as the legal battle on the 2014 Budgetary estimates continues, TORDUE SALEM reports.

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he House of Representatives resumes today, with a lot of incendiary matters on hand: the 2014 Appropriation Bill from the Presidency, the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB and continued voting on several proposals to amend the 1999 Constitution. The House in its characteristic belligerence, would also record more defections (several lawmakers have defected from and to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the last few weeks) and rigorous debates on matters of national importance. Among the sundry issues slated for consideration this week and the coming days, the Budget promises the most heat and controversy. A point of order raised by Hon. Emmanuel Jime (APCBenue) last week forced the House of Representatives to suspend consideration of the 2014 budget proposals for this week. The budget estimates from the executive, were about to be laid by the Leader of the House, Hon. Mulikat AkandeAdeola (PDP-Oyo State), when Jime interjected with his point of order based on the provisions of section 21(1),(2) and (3) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 as amended. “I seek to invoke section 21(1), (2) and (3) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 to say there is a fundamental breach of the law”, he came in. He insisted that the budget must include the estimates of critical money-making agencies like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, among others. “The budget, in the manner it was presented, has breached the law, so the House of Representatives cannot allow the executive arm to get away with the impunity, that has characterised its handling of the nation’s affairs,” Jime said. According to Jime, instead of working on the money bill, the House should concentrate on finding out the mystery behind the alleged missing $10.8 billion petroleum revenue at the NNPC. But the chairman of Appropriation Committee, John Enoh (PDP-Cross River) disagreed. He argued that no law was breached by the workings of the estimates, stressing that the House has been receiving and acting on summary of budgets presented to it by the executive arm of government for several years without any past complaints. He argued further that previous budget estimates were abridged but the business of appropriation was not stalled; he therefore wondered why it should be different this time. His words: “It is one thing for the executive to present estimates and another for the legislative arm to decide what to do with it,” as he recalled that last year’s budget also came in an abridged version and was passed. He also noted that the point of order raised by Jime was not enough to shelve the consideration of the budget as it is the most important document of any country, which must be considered above any other piece of legislation before parliament. But Tambuwal intervened at that point. The Speaker said though Enoh had a point, Jime’s point of order remained valid because it was a point of law. In his ruling, Tambuwal mandated the chairmen and deputies of the committees on Rules and Business: Albert Sam-Tsokwa (PDP-Taraba) and Sunday Adepoju (APCOyo), Justice: Ali Ahmed (APC-Kwara) and Chukwuemeke Nwaogbo (APGA, Anambra) and as well as Judiciary: Aminu Shagari (APC-Sokoto) and Ken Chikere (PDP-Riv-

Tambuwal

Gbajabiamila

THE HOUSE MIGHT END UP KNOCKING OUT THE BUDGET WHICH HAS EVEN COME WITH A

LITANY OF TWISTS, ERRORS AND IS HEAVY ON RECURRENT

ers), to study the matter and report to the House today. This decision attracted a loud applause from All Progressives Congress, APC, legislators, who got the endorsement of their national leaders and governors Monday night to checkmate what they described as the excesses of the ruling PDP. To be fair to the situation, the House of Representatives since 1999 has been fiery and bare-knuckle, but with the opposition in the majority now, more controversy and fights are to be expected. In 2005, the war over budget went haywire, as Hon. Bashir Nadabo (APP-Katsina) interjected the then President Olusegun Obasanjo who was having his budget speech at a joint-session of the National Assembly. Nadabo had asked Obasanjo to “keep quiet” in the middle of his speech, as he added a poser: “Have you been implementing budget?”

The situation was salvaged when the Senate President at the time, Sen. Ken Nnamani, asked the bewildered President to go on with his speech, while Nadabo was bundled out of the Green Chamber. The same Nadabo, along with other radical PDP members, would in 2006 lead the fight to oust the President for failing to implement budgets passed and signed by him. Several budget-related battles have been fought since 1999 and the argument then as it is now, has been based on sectoral implementation of allocations to ministries. But because of the tradition of key money-spinning agencies of government not remitting to government purse for the purpose of Appropriation, the House decided in 2004 to enact the Fiscal Responsibility Act to list specific agencies of government that must attach their earnings to the budget estimates availed the National Assembly by the Presidency. The provisions of Section 21(1), (2) and (3) of the said Act were the basis for the controversy in the Green Chamber last week. Many have argued that the controversy on the Budget is politically motivated, but the fact remains that the mover of the motion was legally on point. A constitutional fact also stands that the House representing the demography of Nigeria, owns the budget. It is also the more reason why budgets are received in a joint session in the Green Chamber and not the Senate that represents the equality of states of the federation. With the APC gaining momentum in the House by the day, the House might end up knocking out the Budget which has even come with a litany of twists, errors and is heavy on recurrent.

Senate: Landmines litter pathways of defection CONTINUED FROM PAGE 42 by one which he was previously sponsored.” From the look of things, it appears that the defecting senators have come to terms with the fact that they have obviously shot themselves in the foot. The argument and position of Mark on the matter has become obviously unassailable to them. This is most probably why they have resorted to a political solution to the issue. The opposition Leader in the Senate and the former governor of Benue

State, George Akume, who spoke to some Senate correspondents last week after a last attempt at resolving the issue failed to yield any meaningful result, said: “We want to believe strongly that by Tuesday next week, this matter will be laid to rest in the interest of the country and for santity and integrity of the Senate.” Also last week, all the parties resolved to engage in further consultations, with a view to finding a way out of the matter.

But what if the Senate President comes back this week and refuses to toe any political line and insists instead on maintaining his earlier position that the law should be allowed to run its full course and in that instance refuse to read the defection letter? What are the other options open to the defecting senators, if any? The reality of the matter is that with politicians, one can never say never. No doubt, the matter will be resolved somehow, but how? It is only the politicians themselves that will say.


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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PDP youths charge leaders to serve as custodian of future OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, youths have charged those in positions of power and authority to see themselves as both custodian of the present and caretakers

of the future. They also charged leaders in authority to always take decisions that guarantee a protected and progressive future. In a communiqué issued at the end of a oneday workshop organised by the office of National

Youth Leader of the PDP, Hon. Abdullahi MaiBasira, the youths were charged to engage in activities that can promote peace and development of the country. The youths, in the communiqué signed by MaiBasira and their represen-

tatives from South-West, South-East, South-South, North-West, North-Central and North-East, were also enjoined to ensure consensus building, through radical departure from the decadent past. They were charged to strive for excellence, en-

thronement of best practices in all aspects of the society and construction engagement. The youths were urged to be actively involved in the 2015 general elections and also to always conduct themselves in a peaceful and orderly

manner. The youth leaders however appreciated the steps being taken by the leadership of the PDP towards reconciling aggrieved members and reinforcing the lofty objectives of the founding fathers of the party.

UPN to participate in Ekiti/Osun elections AYO ESAN

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he Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, has allayed its members’ fears that it may be registered too late to take part in the elections slated to hold in Ekiti and Osun states later in the year. In a statement, the party said it had fulfilled all necessary requirements for registration, and expressed confidence that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, would quickly issue it with the registration certificate to enable aspiring members contest in the polls. “Everything that the UPN should do, it has done,” the statement said, adding: “The question to ask INEC is: What is holding the UPN from registration because this inexplicable delay is causing fear and worry among the public?” However, the UPN said it will continue to maintain faith in INEC’s promise to create a level playing democratic field for politicians of all shades and opinion to play politics and contest elections. According to the INEC

timetable, the first round of elections will hold this year on June 21 with the Ekiti State gubernatorial election, followed by the Osun State governorship poll on August 9. Next year elections open with presidential and National Assembly elections slated for February 14, while the state governorship and state Houses of Assembly polls come up a fortnight later on February 28. Reacting for the first time to the INEC timetable, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Bari Salau, said: “The release of the election timetable by the INEC has put pressure on our members throughout the federation out of the fear that the UPN is yet to be registered. But we want to assure all our members and prospective members that by the grace of God the party will be registered early enough for it and its contestants to take part in all the coming elections.” The party urged members nationwide and especially in Osun and Ekiti states to exercise patience while INEC processed the UPN registration.

L-R: Former Kano State governor, Ibrahim Shekarawu with Chief Mike Ahamba during his official declaration for PDP in Abuja.

Dogara tackles PDP over corruption, forecloses return EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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he member representing Dass/Bogoro/Tafawa-Balewa federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Dogara Yakubu has accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of legalising corruption, saying that nothing would make him return to the PDP. Dogara made the accusation in his Bogoro unit when he obtain the All Progressive Congress, APC,

Ganduje spites PDP registers for APC ALEX MOMOH KANO

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ano State deputy governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has said that the current membership registration exercise of the All Progressive Congress, APC, has sent jitters down the spine of the crumbling People Democratic Party, PDP. Ganduje, who made this assertion after picking the APC registration card at Ganduje home town in Dawakin Tofa Local Government, described the allegation said to have been

made by the PDP that the exercise was designed to rig the forthcoming general elections in the country as the “ranting of a loser.” He said: “The APC is gaining ground due to the massive turn out of people for the registration,” maintaining that the peaceful conduct of the registration exercise nationwide signified the unity in the party, which indicated that the party is set for victory in the forthcoming 2015 general elections. While calling on all and sundry to join the APC which he opined was a

winning party in order to salvage the country from the bad leadership of the PDP, Ganduje further maintained that the only option left for all patriotic Nigerians, who have the interest of the country at heart was to join APC which he said was poised to save Nigeria from the misrule of the PDP. The deputy governor was accompanied by the state interim chairman of the APC, Engr. Tijjani Muhammad Gwarzo, a one-time deputy governor of the state, Engr. Magaji Abdullahi as well as national and state legislators.

membership card after registering as a member of the party. He added that the PDP government is a by-product of corruption with impunity without vision which has brought adversity and poverty upon Nigerians, asking the people to be agents of change by voting the APC for sustainable change. Stressing that his decision to dump the PDP was to correct the ills of the party and consolidate on the gains of democracy through restoration of people’s hope, Dogara said that

FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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eadership of the Ogun State chapter of the Labour Party, LP, has dissociated itself from the court action instituted by some members of the party against the national leadership of the party over an alleged plan to open a parallel office of the party in the state. A press statement issued and signed in Abeokuta, the state capital by the party’s deputy state chairman, publicity secretary, Comrade Samson Okusanya, and Moruf

the APC is the only credible political platform that can salvage our people from the pang of hunger, poverty and marginalisation with a manifesto that has clear vision for yearnings and aspirations of the people. His words: “By this registration today, I have dashed the hope of the PDP which is still working hard to woo me back to its fold.” He therefore urged his constituency not to be carried away by whatever promise the PDP has made to them to get their support for the 2015 elections, say-

ing that the PDP was an epitome of failed promises, which has forced its members to decamp enmasse to the APC. He said that his defection was not only timely but done in the interest of the people of the constituency and not based on religious or ethnic consideration. He cautioned APC supporters not to allow themselves to be deceived again by the ruling PDP, charging his constituents to remain firm and resolute in voting the APC in all elections in 2015.

Ogun LP dissociate self from suit against national leadership Ogunsi respectively and 24 others, including all the LP chairmen in the 20 local government areas of the state, stated that those who instituted the legal action have been suspended from the party and so, lacked the power to do so on behalf of the party. This was coming on the heels of the order of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, which granted an order of interim injunction restraining former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel as well as

22 other members of the LP in Ogun State from opening a parallel office of the party in the state. The court also barred the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, two members of the national executive committee of LP, the National Chairman, Barrister Dan Nwanyanwu and the National Secretary, Joseph Akinlaja, from recognising Daniel or any of his political associates as leaders of the LP in Ogun State.


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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World News Israeli PM slams Iran move to send ships towards US

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“American officials publicly say they do not seek regime change in Iran. That’s a lie”. –IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER AYATULLAH ALI KHAMENEI

At least 50 killed in Burundi’s floods A t least 50 people are reported to have died after floods and landslides hit the Burundi capital, Bujumbura. The BBC's Cyiriaque Muhawenayo in the city says it is not yet possible to give accurate figures because bodies may be hidden in the mud or under debris. One man said he had lost nine relatives. BBC said the main hospital's morgue is full, and that people are being treated outside. Water and mud flooding down from hills outside the city have washed away hundreds of hous-

es, according to police. "The rain that fell in torrents overnight on the capital caused a disaster," Security Minister Gabriel Nizigama told reporters. "We have already found the bodies of 51 people killed when their houses collapsed or were swept away," he said. A news agency reports that torrential rain fell for 10 hours overnight and caused widespread power cuts. Roads and crops have also been destroyed. Bujumbura is on a plain that lies between a range of hills and Lake Tanganyika.

Buterere is one of the worst affected districts of Bujumbura

DR Congo's rebel leader ordered mass killing - Prosecutors CAR's politician gunned down

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ormer Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda ordered troops to kill and rape civilians, prosecutors said. Judges at the International Criminal Court are deciding if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial. "He played a key role in planning assaults against the civilian population," Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the court. Gen Ntaganda is accused of committing war crimes a decade ago. He is yet to enter a plea, but denies the charges. Gen Ntaganda "persecuted civilians on ethnic

grounds, through deliberate attacks, forced displacement, murder, rape, sexual enslavement and pillaging," Ms Bensouda told pre-trial judges at The Hague. "He personally used child soldiers in attacks," she said. She has five days to convince judges that he should be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. He is not required to make a formal plea at this stage, but denies all 18 of the charges against him. Earlier Gen Ntaganda,

Bosco Ntaganda is widely known as "The Terminator"

speaking in the Kinyarwanda language, told the court: "My name is Bosco Ntaganda. When I arrived at the ICC I was a soldier, but I'm no longer a soldier any more." Wearing a charcoal suit and sporting his trademark pencil moustache, Gen Ntaganda listened intently, but showed no emotion as the charges against him were read. His defence lawyer, Marc Desalliers, said Gen Ntaganda had "chosen to appear before the court because he has faith in the judicial process". "He is confident that the chamber will see beyond the caricature presented to you by the prosecution," he said. "The image put to you by the prosecution does not correspond at all not to the individual who stands before you today, not his life or the objectives of the movement he is a member of." Gen Ntaganda, widely known as "The Terminator", voluntarily surrendered at the US embassy in Rwanda last March as the Congolese M23 rebel movement was fracturing.

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unmen murdered a politician outside his house in Central African Republic's capital overnight, officials said, in a blow to the new president's efforts to restore order in the divided nation. No group claimed responsibility for killing Jean-Emmanuel Djarawa a day after he made a speech denouncing recent violence and calling for Christian militias to be confined to barracks. Central African Republic descended into chaos after mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in March last year and embarked on a 10-month reign of terror marked by looting, torture and murder. Since the departure of Seleka head and interim President Michel Djotodia in January under international pressure, Christian militias have stepped up revenge attacks against Muslims. Violence has killed thousands and left about a quarter of Bangui's population homeless. Former colonial ruler France has sent in troops to bolster regional peacekeepers, amid fears the violence could spread over the borders of the impoverished country in the

heart of Africa. Attackers followed Djarawa, a Christian representative for eastern Haute-Kotto province, and shot him several times near his house in northern Bangui on Sunday night, said government officials. "He was returning home from town and he was shot down with eight gunshots by armed men," said Etienne Bazouati, another parliamentarian. Red Cross country director Antoine Mbao Bogo said his organization had been called to collect the body. Amy Martin, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Bangui, said the killing would put additional strains on peacekeepers as officials sought more protection. "It will be impossible for troops to protect both members of parliament and the neighbourhoods," she said. Three daylight lynchings were reported last week and thousands of Muslims have tried to flee to neighbouring Chad and Cameroon. Muslims in the capital are now confined mostly to the PK12 neighbourhood in Bangui's north, Martin said.

WORLD BULLETIN South Africa's Malema escapes political ban Julius Malema, expelled African National Congress (ANC) youth leader and current leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) political party, gestures at Polokwane High Court, where he appeared on charges of money laundering and racketeering, November 18, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko Julius Malema, expelled African National Congress (ANC) youth leader and current leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) political party, gestures at Polokwane High Court, where he appeared on charges of money laundering and racketeering, November 18, 2013. Populist South African politician Julius Malema narrowly escaped being barred from public office on Monday when a judge placed the vocal critic of President Jacob Zuma under "provisional sequestration" over an outstanding tax debt. The left-wing Malema, who led the ruling ANC's youth wing until his expulsion for ill-discipline in 2012, is running for president under the banner of his Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party in May 7 elections.

South Sudan's rebels boycott peace talks South Sudanese rebels said they would boycott the next round of peace talks starting in Ethiopia yesterday unless the government freed political prisoners and sent home the Ugandan troops who have been supporting it. The Addis Ababa talks, which secured a ceasefire last month, are intended to end a conflict that has claimed the lives of thousands of people and displaced more than half a million South Sudanese since it broke out on December 15. The rebels, lead by former vice president Riek Machar, said they wanted four remaining political prisoners held by the Juba government to be released and the Ugandan army, which has been backing President Salva Kiir, to withdraw from South Sudan. "We are hereby informing all parties ... that we are abstaining from participating in the next round of peace talks, which are scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa today," the rebels said in a statement.


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WORLD BULLETIN

‘Swiss could face consequences after immigration vote’ Switzerland could lose its privileged access to the European single market, European officials said yesterday, after Swiss voters narrowly backed proposals to curtail immigration from the EU in a referendum that has unsettled business. The vote on Sunday was initiated by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), which has tapped into concerns that Swiss culture is being eroded by foreigners, who account for nearly a quarter of the country's 8-million strong population. Immigration limits were vigorously opposed by Swiss industry and the government in Berne, which is now in the uncomfortable position of having to write the referendum result into law while limiting the backlash from Brussels and big neighbours like Germany and France.

Italy warns India over handling of marines case Italy warned yesterday that India's relations with the European Union would be seriously damaged if New Delhi decides to use strict anti-piracy laws to try two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen during a security operation in 2012. The sharply worded warning from Prime Minister Enrico Letta came as authorities in India announced that the Supreme Court would hold a hearing next week on whether to charge marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone under strict antipiracy legislation."Italy is not a terrorist country," a statement from Letta's office said, adding that any decision to try the two under anti-piracy legislation would be "absolutely unacceptable". "It would bring about negative consequences in relations with Italy and the European Union, with equally negative repercussions on the global fight against piracy." The two marines, part of a military security team protecting the tanker Enrica Lexie from pirates, were accused of shooting the two fishermen after mistaking them for pirates off the southern Indian state of Kerala in February 2012.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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U.N. nuclear watchdog sees progress in Iran’s nuke talk

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he U.N. nuclear watchdog signalled its determination yesterday to get to the bottom of suspicions that Iran may have worked on designing an atomic bomb, a day after Tehran agreed to start addressing the sensitive issue. Chief U.N. nuclear inspector Tero Varjoranta said his team made good progress during February 8-9 talks in Tehran but that much work remained to clarify concerns about Iran's nuclear program in an investigation that Western diplomats say the Islamic state has long stonewalled. "There are still a lot of outstanding issues," Varjoranta, deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said at Vienna airport after returning from the Iranian capital. "We will address them all in due course." Iran denies Western allegations it seeks the capability to make nuclear weapons, saying such claims are baseless and fabricated by its foes. Years of hostile

rhetoric and sabre-rattling raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East. But a long moribund diplomatic push to resolve the decade-old dispute picked up steam after last June's election of a relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as Iran's president on a platform of conciliation to ease its international isolation. In Tehran, Rouhani told a gathering of foreign diplomats that Iran's doors "are open to the IAEA within international regulations", the official news agency IRNA reported. "We have never sought weapons of mass destruction. We don't want nuclear know-how for war, as some countries do," he said. Iran and six powers struck an interim deal on November 24 to curb Tehran's nuclear work in exchange for some relaxation of sanctions that have hobbled the oil producer's economy and they will start talks next week on a long-term agreement. The IAEA investigation into what it calls the possible military dimensions (PMD) to Iran's nuclear activity is separate from, but

Tero Tapio Varjoranta Deputy Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards of the IAEA is interviewed as he arrives after his flight from Iran at Vienna's Schwechat airport, Photo: AP Austria, yesterday.

complementary to, the wider-ranging diplomacy between the Islamic Republic and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China. The IAEA investigation is focused on the question of whether Iran sought atomic bomb technology in the past and, if it did, to determine whether such work has since stopped. Diplomats say the way the Iran-IAEA talks prog-

Israeli PM slams Iran's move to send ships towards US

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srael yesterday denounced an Iranian announcement that it was sending naval ships towards the United States as further evidence that loosening sanctions on Tehran was counterproductive. The move to send warships to the Atlantic was announced by the commander of Iran's northern naval fleet on Saturday, who described it as a "message." The ships "have already started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via the waters near South Africa," said Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad, in remarks quoted by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency. Iranian media reported that two ships -- a destroyer and a helicopter transport vessel -- had been dispatched on January 21. It was not clear how close the ships would travel towards the US maritime border or when they would arrive.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the dispatch of the warships was clear evidence of Iran's "aggression" and proof it had not moderated its policies following a landmark deal with world powers to roll back its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. "The easing of sanctions against Iran by the international community has not caused Iran to moderate its international aggression the complete opposite has occurred," Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting in remarks relayed by his office. Israel, the region's sole if undeclared nuclear-armed state, has long viewed Iran's controversial atomic programme as a threat to its existence and has not ruled out military action to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. Iran has always insisted its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, and President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate elected last year,

has vowed to allay Western concerns about it. In September 2012, Iran said it was planning to send naval forces to the Atlantic to deploy along US marine borders to counter a beefed up US naval presence in the Persian Gulf, Fars reported, with the navy chief saying the buildup would begin within several years. In December, the Pentagon said it was not planning to scale back its vast military presence in the Gulf despite the six-month interim nuclear deal.

Netanyahu

ress will be important also for the outcome of the big powers' diplomacy, which the West hopes will lead to a settlement denying Iran the capability to assemble a nuclear weapon any time soon. "Continued progress on resolving PMD issues will go a long way to demonstrate to the international community that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons and is willing to

come clean about its past activities," said Kelsey Davenport of the Arms Control Association, a U.S. research and advocacy group. The IAEA said on Sunday that Iran had agreed to take seven new practical measures within three months under a November transparency arrangement with the IAEA meant to help allay concern about the nuclear program.

North Korea scraps US envoy's invite as tensions mount

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ensions tightened on the Korean peninsula yesterday, as North Korea cancelled a US envoy's visit over a jailed Korean American, and Seoul and Washington set dates for military drills denounced by Pyongyang. Frictions with the North will dominate the agenda when US Secretary of State John Kerry makes a brief visit to Seoul later this week as part of an Asia tour. The US State Department said it was "deeply disappointed" by the North's decision to rescind -- without explanation -- its invitation to Robert King, the US special envoy for North Korean human rights issues. King had hoped to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, who was arrested in November 2012 and later sentenced to 15 years' hard labor on charges of seeking to topple the North Korean government. Bae, a tour operator, was described by a North Korean court as a militant

Christian evangelist. It is the second time King has been rebuffed. North Korea previously scrapped an invite at the last minute for him to discuss Bae's case at the end of August. Bae, 45, began serving his sentence in May 2013 and was admitted to hospital in August with kidney and liver problems. He was returned to the labour camp last month, and his family and US officials have voiced deep concerns over his health. In a video of a conversation with Swedish diplomat Cecilia Anderberg, Bae said he has already lost as much as 10 pounds (five kilograms) in weight since his return to the camp, CNN reported Monday. "I know if I continue for the next several months here, I will probably be sent back to the hospital again," Bae said in the footage recorded on Friday and released by Chosun Sinbo, a pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

World News

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Japan has confidence in Nigeria’s future – Ambassador Shoji

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apanese ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji has reiterated his country’s optimism for a brighter future for Nigeria. He stated this recently in a speech he presented at the reception ceremony of their 54th Japan-Nigeria diplomatic relations’ anniversary which took place at Eko Hotels , Victoria Island, Lagos state. According to Mr. Shoji, “We Japanese have full confidence in the bright future of Nigeria. We believe that a nation is as strong as its people too. This is one o the reasons for such optimism. Nigeria has rich human resources. Nigerian people are young and vivid, full of energy and constantly aspiring for a better life. They have every quality to contribute to making the country rich and prosperous.” Both at the federal and at state levels. He also stated that the ongoing reforms are also other reasons for their

positive mind set for Nigeria’s brighter future. Ambassador Shoji also said that Nigeria-Japan bilateral relations are vigorous and expanding. And that the bilateral trade reached its historic highpoint of about 5 billion US dollars in 2012 with its balance largely in favour of Nigeria. The ambassador also pointed out that his country Japan is the largest importer of Nigeria’s liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and that a lot of Japanese companies are also ready to invest in the expansion of its production. “Last year, five new investment decisions were taken by Japanese companies in diverse sectors. Most of them will start their business in Lagos. This augurs well for future bilateral economic relations . The Embassy of Japan is committed to work harder to promote this win-win relationship between our two countries by encouraging

and facilitating Japanese companies investment in Nigeria, and by cooperating with the Nigeria Federal Government as well as state Governments to secure a business-friendly environment” Shoji also added. The Ambassador in his speech referenced their Prime Minister’s January 12th, 2014 speech at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa entitled “Japan ‘s Diplomacy towards Africa. He said . “In particular, I like to draw your attention to one of the important messages, the Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe intends to convey that one of the secrets o Japan’s economic development is the ‘managerial philosophy, to place value on individuals. Japanese companies value each person’s efforts that arise from his or her inner motivation. They also consider individuals who make efforts without being instructed to do so as their most precious

resource. This has been the quintessential spirit o Japanese companies. Japanese companies that come to Africa never fail to bring with them this type of managerial philosophy. We are determined to work together with Nigerian people, policy makers and business men to promote this win-win relation in every field, but most importantly in the economic field, by sharing technology know-how, management skills and last but not the least, the ‘Management philosophy’ Ambassador Shoji concludes. In his own speech, Senator Udo Udoma a cohost of the invent who also doubles as Japanese honorary Consul in Lagos stated that for the Japanese Ambassador, Shoji to leave Abuja to come and make the Anniversary in Lagos shows he understands the strategic status of Lagos state. He also ex-

pressed his joy on the decision of the CEO o the NISSAN group of Japan to set up a car manufacturing plant in Nige-

ria and pointed out that, that will open up new employment opportunities for the teaming job seekers in the country.

Shoji

Facebook's Zuckerberg US newlywed dies after base Merkel to visit UK as Cameron seeks EU reform backing named top US philanthropist jump parachute failure

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acebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have been named joint top US philanthropists for 2013. The couple gained the accolade after a donation of 18 million Facebook shares to a Silicon Valley foundation. The donation, worth more than $970m (£590m), was the largest in the US in 2013. The gift outstripped philanthropists such as Bill and Melinda Gates, the Chronicle of Philanthropy said. Mr Zuckerberg and his wife made the $970m donation to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a charity that manages and distributes charitable funds. The shares have helped to make the foundation one of the largest in the US, the Chronicle of Philanthropy said. Over the past two years, Mr Zuckerberg and Ms Chan have donated about 36 million Facebook shares to the foundation. Funds have broadly

been distributed to education and health, with $5m being distributed to a health clinic in East Palo Alto, for example. Philanthropists who have previously headed the list, such as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, have been making good on previous years' pledges. Mr and Mrs Gates gave their foundation slightly more than $181.3m last year, and continue to honour a pledge of about $3.3bn they made in 2004.

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newlywed in the US state of Utah has died after her parachute failed to open in a mountain jump. Amber Bellows, 28, fell nearly 2,000ft (609m) from Mount Kinesava in Zion National Park on Saturday. She had been hiking in the area with her husband, Clayton Butler, two weeks after they married. Ms Bellows was experienced in base jumping, which involves leaping with a parachute from elevated platforms such as buildings and rock formations. The Salt Lake City native was said to have jumped first around 16:00 local time (23:00 GMT) on Saturday

when her parachute did not open. Butler jumped after her but could not reach her body. It took him several hours to hike down and report the incident to park officials, US media report. Officials reportedly searched for Ms Bellows by helicopter and located her body around 10:00 on Sunday. Zion National Park superintendent Jim Milestone described base jumping as "dangerous" and warned it was not allowed in the area, even for those with experience. "It is just really sad and our condolences go out to [Ms Bellows'] family and friends," he told US media.

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erman Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss the future of the European Union with Prime Minister David Cameron on a visit to London this month, as Britain seeks support for a sweeping overhaul of EU treaties. Cameron has yet to spell out all his proposals, but has made it clear he wants to curb immigration from new member states, cut red tape and improve competition. He has so far garnered only limited backing for his reform plans among other EU states, but hopes to secure a new deal if reelected next year before

holding a referendum on Britain's EU membership by 2017. Any signs of support from Germany, the bloc's biggest economy, would strengthen his campaign. Merkel will visit around February 27, according to two sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. One said she would address parliament. Only a few foreign leaders, including Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, have addressed the British assembly. The diplomatic privilege was last extended to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2013.

Syria air force strikes Lebanon frontier town

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Zuckerberg

yria's air force launched two strikes on the outskirts of Lebanon's frontier town of Arsal on Monday, causing no casualties, a Lebanese security source said. The raid was the latest in a string of cross-border strikes against Arsal. On January 17, shells rained down on the town, killing eight people, including five children.

A December air raid prompted the Lebanese army to fire back with antiaircraft guns. Arsal's residents support the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, and the town has become home to thousands of Syrians who have fled the conflict. In a separate development, the Lebanese army said it has detained two Syrian men, including Rad-

wan Mahmud Ayyush, a defector from Syria's army, in the Wadi Hmeid area of Arsal. "As part of operations to bring the land borders under control, army units in the area of Wadi Hmeid of Arsal detained two men, Omar Mohamed Othman and Radwan Mahmud Ayyush, of Syrian nationality," the army said. The statement said the

two men were detained for "entering Lebanese territory illegally," adding they were being held for questioning. Ayyush, a former captain in Syria's army, joined his country's rebellion at an unknown date, and became a commander in the opposition's military council in Qusayr, a former rebel stronghold near Lebanon's border.


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Cocktail

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bank, credit bureau declare alive woman dead

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Missouri woman sued her bank and a major credit bureau for declaring her dead and failing to correct the mistake. Kimberly Haman, 46, filed the suit Monday in federal court in St. Louis against Heartland Bank and Equifax, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. She said both entities had declared her dead nearly a year ago even though she’s clearly not deceased. “She’s contacting them, and saying, ‘Excuse me, I’m not dead.’ And even through that process, they continue to report her as deceased,”

Haman’s lawyer, Sylvia Goldsmith, said. Goldsmith said the mistake has prevented Haman from refinancing her mortgage twice, and she’s also been turned down for credit cards. “At this point, [Haman] is at a complete loss as to what else she can do,” the suit says. “The entire experience has imposed upon [Haman] significant distrust, frustration and distress, and has rendered plaintiff hopeless as to her ability to regain her good name and the credit rating that she deserves and has worked hard to earn.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Job seeker gets probation for mailing cat faeces to companies

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St. Louis man was sentenced to two years of probation for mailing cat faeces to companies that didn’t hire him. Jevons Brown, 58, had

pleaded guilty in August to a misdemeanour charge of mailing injurious articles. Brown, a veteran, had become frustrated with a lack of employment op-

portunities and sent the faeces to employees of various companies. Twenty packages were traced to Brown, U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokesman Dan Taylor

said. Brown apologized in court on Friday during the sentencing, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said. “I’m sorry. This will never happen again.”

Ambulance hijacked with sleeping worker inside

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uthorities say an Albuquerque ambulance worker catching some sleep in the back of his vehicle woke up to find himself the victim of a carjacking. Police have arrested a man and a woman accused of driving off in the ambulance around 3 a.m. Saturday while it was parked outside Lovelace Medical Centre in downtown Albuquerque. Police spokesman Elder

Guevara says the employee was asleep in the vehicle’s rear but was able to jump out when the ambulance slowed near an intersection. Officers then pursued the ambulance as it headed eastbound, and then westbound, on Interstate 40. The ambulance finally came to a rest on I-40, over Tramway, after authorities used spikes to deflate the ambulance’s tires.

United States President, Barack Obama after delivering an inaugural speech.

PHOTO: AP


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Community Mirror The current insecurity and political confusion in the country are avoidable distractions we certainly do not need now.

Security guard arraigned for rape 50

SENATE PRESIDENT, DAVID MARK

Man, 25 charged for armed robbery WALE IGBINTADE

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25-year-old man, Shina Aiyero, has been arraigned before a Lagos High Court for alleged armed robbery. The defendant who has

no particular means of livelihood appeared before Justice Aishat Opesanwo on a three-count charge of conspiracy, armed robbery and managing unlawful society. Information on the charge sheet revealed

that, the suspect allegedly committed the offence in November 24, 2012 at Iba Housing Estate, Iba, Ojo, Lagos. Aiyero and others now at large were said to have attacked one Mrs Abisola Odedara while

armed with a gun and other dangerous weapons and dispossessed her of mobile phones and other items yet to be valued. It was said that the suspect had been overseeing an unlawful society in the

neighbourhood. The defendant however pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge offence. State counsel, Mr. Afolabi Sholebo prayed the court to adjourn the matter to enable

him produce witnesses in court.Consequently, Justice Opesanwo adjourned the case to March 25 for trial. The alleged offences contravened Section 295, 297 and 417 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State.

Legislator executes constituency projects JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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Passengers queueing to board BRT buses at Ketu, Lagos yesterday.

Six persons arrested for attacking union leader HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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ix members of the Amalgamation of Commercial Motorcycle and Riders Association of Nigeria, ACOMORAN,in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State have been arrested by the police for attacking the residence of one of their union leader, Mr. Rotimi Fadoju.

It was gathered that the hoodlums invaded the home of Fadoju who is the union treasurer destroying properties worth millions of naira. According to a source, the invasion of Fadoju’s house by Okada riders was as result of an alleged protest by some union members over alleged mismanagement of funds by the executive. They accused the leadership of not remitting

the proceeds from daily tickets sale into the coffers of the union, even as they alleged maltreatment of their members. The source said the refusal of the executive to render proper account infuriated the members who had earlier approached the treasurer to resolve the issue. The source stated that those arrested were said to have sponsored the attack, while the police have

commenced investigation into the incident. Though, the source said no life was lost in the attack as the family of Fadoju was not at home at the time. The Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, Mr. Wole Ogodo, confirmed arrest of the hoodlums and stated that investigation is ongoing to know those behind the attack.

Katsina spends N2.5bn on community development JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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total of N2.57 billion has been spent by the Katsina State Government for development projects in the 34 council areas The amount which covered from 2009 to December last year, was made known by the Special

Adviser to the governor on community development, Abubakar Bindawa. Bindawa said over 7, 743 Community Development Areas,CDA’s were assisted to carry out self help projects in the areas of health, rural water supply, ecological related projects among others. He said the sum of N351.9 million was expended in

2010 for the provision of schools, worship centres, drugs, wells, and vehicles for easy transportation in council areas. He said another N44.7 million was spent on similar community-based projects in some selected communities in 2011. The special adviser said community family supportive assistance,

renovation and construction of classrooms and other public buildings, were carried out in 2012 and that N73.9 million was expended in the process. He said N1.9 billion was spent last year in the provision of material assistance, building of concrete wells, and rehabilitation of graveyards in the state.

House of Representatives member from Katsina State, Hon. Ado Salisu has said his constituency has benefited from projects worth N200 million. Speaking with newsmen, Salisu said the amount was expended on projects in his constituency which includes Daura, Sandamu and Mai’adua local governments. He said some of the executed projects include construction of solar boreholes, hand pumps and provision of transformers to three communities. Other projects include

construction of classrooms, a skills acquisition centre for training of unemployed youths, drainages, among others. Salisu, said that more than 2,000 youths, were assisted financially to purchase forms to secure admission into higher institutions in the country. He said that as a lawmaker, he would continue to pursue the interest of his constituency, even with the remaining tenure in office. “If we are elected again into office, what we have done for our constituency would continue, with better developmental projects to be carried out,” he added.

Senator offers medical treatment to 3,000 patients

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he Senate Chief Whip, Bello Hayatu Gwarzo has offered free medical treatment to 3, 000 persons in Gwarzo Local Government Area of Kano State. According to a statement by his Media Assistant, Alhaji Ibrahim Garba, the free medical exercise took place in three districts of the constituency covering 10 wards. The statement said the exercise was carried out by the Kano State Medical Students Association led by Rufa’i Datti Gwarzo. It said during the exercise, drugs and other medicaments were distrib-

uted to beneficiaries free of charge. Senator Gwarzo pledged to sustain the programme as part of his effort to provide quality healthcare service in Gwarzo constituency. Leader of the medical team known as ‘Medical Caravan’, Rufa’i Datti Gwarzo commended Senator Gwarzo for sponsoring the programme aimed at assisting the less privileged in the constituency. The team presented an award to him in recognition of his effort towards providing free medical services to the people.


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Community Mirror

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Security guard arraigned for rape ALEX MOMOH KANO

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security guard has been arraigned by a Kano Magistrate Court for allegedly abducting and raping an 18-year old girl. The accused, Victor Saater, 22 and living on Aithken Road, Sabon Gari Quarters and Sunday Dapus, 29, of the same address, were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Court 12 sitting at No

Man`s Land, over allegation of criminal conspiracy, abduction and rape which police prosecution witness said contravened Sections 273 and 283 of the Penal Code Law. According to the police First Information Report, FIR, the case was reported by one Happiness Eyadika of No 17, Aithken Road Sabon- Gari, Kano accusing Victor Saater of conspiring with Dapus to rape her 18- year old sister, Chinazo Uba.

The court was told that the first accused, had on December 24, 2013 took Chinaza to a Chapel of Grace Church, Aithken Road and allegedly had carnal knowledge of her. The court further heard that after the first accused person had raped Chinazo, he later took her to the second accused, Sunday Dapus, for custody. However, when the two accused persons were asked if the information in the FIR was true or not,

they both denied the allegation, while the court presided over by Chief Magistrate Maryam Sabo opposed their bail as applied by their defense counsel , Barrister Chris Njoku, saying that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the case. The Magistrate therefore directed that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody, while the case was adjourned to February 14, 2014 for further mention.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NSCDC nets N9.5m for cooperative DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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he Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, in Gombe have raked in N9.5 million for its cooperative society in 2013. Announcing this at the Annual General Meeting, AGM, chairman of the cooperative society, Mr. Stephen Moses, said the amount is an improvement on the N6.4 million gross net premium incomes realised in 2012. He said the new initiatives and strategies embarked upon during the previous years had remarkable impact on the society as it was able to increase its net surplus of N9.5million in 2013 against N6.4 million as at 2012.

He noted that following this improvement, the cooperative society’s total investment improved by 25 percent and nine percent respectively compared to that of the preceding year, adding that the total liabilities decreased by 50 percent. Also speaking at the occasion, the Gombe State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, Mr. Joel Khettessen reiterated government’s commitment in supporting the cooperative society. Mr. Khettessen who commended the leadership of the society also called on officers of the command yet to join the society to do so as it is one of the ways of assisting themselves after retirement.

Tanker drivers, touts clash in Ibadan KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he peace of Olorunsogo area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was yesterday threatened when tanker drivers and touts clashed following a road accident on the LagosIbadan Expressway. Community Mirror gathered that three people were injured while police arrested two suspected trouble makers. It was learnt that some irate mob descended on the driver who also called his members from the

Akran of Badagry, His Royal Majesty, Aholu Menu-Toyi I (left) and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Nunanyo Amosu during a courtesy call by the CAS on the monarch at the weekend.

Fashola commended for promoting Yoruba culture WALE IGBINTADE

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he newly crowned chief female priest of Obatala, in Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos State, Princess Toyin Awawa has praised Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, for his contribution to the development and preservation of Yoruba heritage and culture. She stated this shortly after her installation as the new female priest of Obatala in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

While urging other Yoruba leaders to promote the culture at any given opportunity, she called on all stakeholders to work for the enhancement of their identity. According to her human existence, culture and history cannot be separated adding that the development of any group of people is tied to their culture. She stated that culture and tradition, myths and legends were handed over by the ancestors; hence they should be valued and protected.

Also at the occasion, the chairman of Otofem property limited, Mr. Femi Bakare commended the Osun State governor, Ogbeni Raufu Aregbesola for not allowing Yoruba culture and traditional to die due to incursion of foreign civilisation and religions. Bakare who traced the Yoruba race from Oduduwa, stated that of 365 days in lle-Ife, it is only one day people are not allowed to worship their gods. He urged Fashola to not only empower traditional

rulers but to extend such gesture to leaders and heads of idol worshipers. He urged the governor to caution traditional rulers who are in the habit of encroaching on land not belonging to them. Bakare further alleged some of the traditional rulers in the state have suddenly turned to land speculators. The three day event coincided with annual world Obatala festival 2014 in Ile-Ife and many devotees across the globe added colour to the event.

neighbourhood. There was confusion when the road was completely closed forcing motorists to divert thereby causing traffic snarl. It was gathered that the timely intervention of the police with Armoured Personel Carrier, APC, prevented trouble makers from looting the nearby market. The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Bisi Ilobanafor, confirmed the arrest of three suspects, stating that normalcy has been restored to the area.

FCTA demolishes illegal structures in Abuja

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he Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has commenced the demolition of illegal structures at Chikakore Layout, Kubwa, Abuja. The demolition began 72 hours after Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Abuja High Court dismissed the suit filed by residents of the layout. The residents had sued the FCT Minister, the FCDA and Bwari Area Council, praying the court to restrain the defendants from reallocating their plots. They had also urged the

court to compel the defendants to conclude the recertification of their plots which were allocated to them by Bwari Area Council. But Halilu dismissed the said suit, saying that it was lacking in merit. “The issue of deemed grant, which is a product of the Land Use Act, was deliberately made inapplicable to lands within the FCT. It is also clear from the position of the FCT Act that all lands in the FCT vests absolutely on the Federal Government of Nigeria, who through the FCT Minister, grants right of occupancy to residents”, he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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Boko Haram: Court returns varsity don, two others to prison ISE-OLUWA IGE AND SEYI ANJORIN

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Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday issued a fresh order remanding in prison custody three suspected Boko Haram members, including a university don, Dr Mohammed Yunus. The trial high court judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, gave the remand order after a four-hour legal argument by counsel

•To rule on bail applications Feb 28 in the case on why or not bail should be granted the accused persons pending trial. He also fixed February 28 to deliver a well considered ruling on their arguments. Yunus and the two others; Umar Musa and Salami Abdullahi, are facing trial for purportedly using their alleged membership of the proscribed Boko Haram sect to terrorise people of Kogi State.

The Federal Government had filed an eightcount charge against them and they were later arraigned last week before Justice Kolawole. Specifically, they were accused of engaging in acts of terrorism and unlawful possession of weapons and ammunition; recruiting members for, supporting and funding the Boko Haram sect, among others. The arraignment came

after being detained by the SSS for over three months. But the three pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them. Upon their non-guilty plea, the judge ordered that the three be remanded in Kuje prison, Abuja. He adjourned till yesterday to take their bail applications. At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, counsel to the university don, Hassan M. Liman,

Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, inspecting a guard of honour during the graduation of trainees of the Nasarawa Youth Empowerment Scheme in Keffi, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Aliyu laments drop in nation’s revenue PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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iger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, yesterday lamented the drop in the revenue accruing to the country, especially in the last six months. He said the revenue has dropped by 40 per cent in the last half a year. Aliyu, who stated this during a visit by the new Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier-General Johnson Olawunni, said if the trend is not arrested, many states in the country

may not be able to pay their bills soon. He blamed the situation on low remittance of revenue accruing to the country from oil that accounts for about 70 per cent of the total amount generated. Earlier, while declaring open the meeting of the Association of Petroleum Inland Basin States of Northern Nigeria, APIBONN, in Minna, Governor Aliyu stressed the need for the country to take advantage of the oil deposits in the northern basins to expand reserve and increase productivity. The governor, who was

represented by the state Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Alhaji Baba Jibril, noted that currently, the Niger Delta Basin has been over-stretched and the opening of the inland basin would no doubt result in discovering reserves that may interest investors both locally and internationally to collaborate in profitable businesses toward national development. He lamented that before now, the country’s economy was hinged mainly on agriculture and solid minerals, but since the discovery of petroleum, the economy

totally became monocultural with heavy dependence on earnings from oil. Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Bida Basin, Col. Mohammed Wushishi, who was represented by Alhaji Y. Y. Sani, said the association is aware of the nature of politics surrounding petroleum in Nigeria and even, across the globe. He added that the decision to go into oil exploration was not only to better the lot of the northern region, but also that of the nation as a whole.

Suswam charges PDP chieftains on 2015 elections HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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enue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, has charged party chieftains in the state to eschew violence and remain steadfast towards clinching all elective positions ahead of the

general elections in 2015. The governor gave the charge yesterday at Adagi in Kwande Local Government Area of the state during a reception held in his honour at the instance of his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Justin

Amase, a son of the soil. Governor Suswam said those who are urging him to run for the Benue North-East senatorial seat come 2015 are unarguable wishing him well and that he appreciates their efforts towards the show of solidarity.

While he reminded them that he still has one and a half years to complete his second term, he said he appreciated the concern demonstrated by the seven local government areas which constitutes the zone, promising not to disappoint them in any way.

SAN, begged the court to admit his client to bail. He argued that the offence committed by his client is bailable and does not carry death penalty to warrant denial. Citing Section 118 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act, he maintained that the court even has the discretion to admit an applicant charged to court on any offence including a capital offence. In a separate address filed by James Ocholi, SAN, on behalf of the second accused, he begged the court to admit him to bail on health ground. He said he had attached a medical report from the Garki Hospital, Abuja indicating that his client has been suffering from hypertension and he has been on drugs. In his argument, Ocholi said there was no credible evidence against the accused, adding that there was no link between them or any other person. Counsel to the third accused, on his own, called on the trial judge to grant bail liberally and generously on the matter as the accused does not pose any danger to the witnesses in the case as stated by the

prosecuting counsel in his counter affidavit. Replying, the prosecution counsel, M. B. Jones Nebo, opposed the bail application on the grounds that the accused persons might abscond from trial based on the weighty punishment awaiting them upon conviction by the law court. Nebo in her submission said that the trial borders on national security and Kogi State in particular, and that granting the bail will amount to security risk and threat to the unsuspecting public. He also urged the court to uphold his submission to protect the state witnesses. Justice Gabriel Kolawole, after hearing both sides on the bail application adjourned ruling on the application till February 28 while the suspects are to remain in the custody of Nigerian prison. Until his arrest, Dr Yunus was a lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Kogi State University. The two others are among the six men paraded by the SSS last November and accused of being members of the deadly Boko Haram sect.

2015: Women move to boost participation in politics WOLE OLADIMEJI ABUJA

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orried by the limited number of women in politics in the country, some women leaders have lined up programmes ahead of the 2015 general elections to boost the participation of women in politics in the country. The initiative was to engage more women in active politics that would eventually boost their chances of winning elections to enable them contribute meaningfully to the country’s development. To this end, the Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, in conjunction with other women in politics would be hosting a Nigerian women strategy conference tagged: “Building Bridges of Opportunity : 2015 Elections and Beyond.” The conference, which

will come up next week at the Abuja Women Development Centre is expected to be declared open by President Goodluck Jonathan. Also expected at the event are other notable politicians across the country. Akande-Adeola, who dropped this hint in a chat with journalists yesterday, gave reasons why the conference was expedient at this crucial time when politicians are warming up for serious political activities in the country. Also with AkandeAdeola yesterday while intimating journalists about the on-coming conference are Uche Ekwunife, Betty Apiafi, Beni Lar and Hon. Khamunna Khadi. The House leader said the focus of the conference is to strategise “further on how to increase the number of women in politics in Nigeria and give them tips on how to go about it.”


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CBN earmarks N260bn for MSMEs -Sanusi WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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bout N220 billion has been set aside by the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) to create a better business viability and economic prosperity in the country. In a message to a sensitisation workshop organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the Kwara Hotels, Ilorin, the CBN gov-

ernor said the apex bank’s objective was to reach over two million MSMEs in 10 years, targeting 60 percent of women as the major beneficiaries. Sanusi, who was represented by the Ilorin Controller of CBN, Onoriode Monday Olotewo, said the workshop was organised with the primary aim of sensitising the Kwara State government, participating financial institutions and the organised private sector on the fund. He explained that the fund had the broad objec-

tive of channeling long term, low interest funds to the small and medium business sectors of the Nigerian economy through the participating financial institutions. He added that the CBN had developed operational guidelines for the state government’s participation in the MSME development fund in order to reach those at the grassroots. The governor said the social-cum-development fund would constitute 10 percent, which is made up of five percent interest drawback,

three percent, and an aging agent operational cost of two per cent. The commercial fund shall constitute 90 per cent of the fund, he further disclosed. In his remarks on the occasion, the Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed, urged the participants and beneficiaries of the fund to internalise the sensitisation with a view to achieving the full benefits of the fund. He advised the CBN to ensure that it met up with the guidelines of the earmarked fund.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Panel frees 62 prisoners in Adamawa LIVINUS MENEDI YOLA

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he Adamawa State Jail Delivery Committee led by the State Acting Chief Judge, Nathan Musa, has released 62 prison inmates awaiting trial in the state. The action came on the heels of efforts by the state judiciary to decongest prisons in the state. Of the number, 40 inmates were unconditionally discharged, and the rest, on bail. National Mirror learnt that those affected were drawn from a pool of inmates awaiting trial and whose case files, in some instances, were said to have been either missing or lost. The acting chief judge disclosed that the exercise

was aimed at decongesting prisons in the state, as well as improve living conditions of inmates. Musa charged the beneficiaries to see their release as a unique opportunity to reunite with their families and the larger society as reformed persons. He urged them to desist from going against the law to avoid returning to the gallows. He also charged them to make better use of the vocational skills they acquired during their stay in the prison formations, admonishing them to avail themselves of the various vocational and skills acquisition centres built by the state government to consolidate the knowledge they acquired in prison.

Why I joined APC –Ex-PDP rep JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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member of the House of Representatives, Nasiru Sani (APC, Zango/Baure), Katsina State, has said that he left the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, for the All Progressives Congress, APC, on the ground of principle. Sani told newsmen that there were ‘certain things’ ongoing in the PDP which

Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko (left) and United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Einwistle, during the ambassador’s visit to Sokoto, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Fulani leader advocates more grazing reserves

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Fulani leader, Abdulkadir Salihu, has appealed to the Federal Government to create more grazing reserves in the country to curb the incessant clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen. Salihu made this known on yesterday when he received members of the 2014 Press Week Committee of the Kwara State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ. The Fulani leader, who is also the National President, Jamu Nati Fulbe Association of Nigeria, said the perceived neglect of Fulani pastoralists had widened the gap between farmers and herdsmen. Salihu said the appeal was necessitated by the

need to reduce the danger posed by conflicts often arising from the two camps, as well as economic losses often sustained in the wake. He said the clashes could have been averted if the government had listened to the several passionate appeals made to it on the establishment of grazing reserves. The Fulani leader said his association had been championing the cause and protecting the interest of its members. Salihu said this was done by creating branches in many parts of the country to integrate Fulanis, adding that Ekiti and Kogi states were yet to get branches. He told the team that the association had become a training avenue for the

youth, and urged government to recognise the Fulani pastoralists because of their contributions to the nation’s economic growth. He, however, said that the association was working relentlessly to incorporate some Fulani Bororos, whom he said, had remained dissenters in their activities. “I want to say that this association has brought peace and maintained cordiality with the people across the country. “We meet with farmers both the subsistence and commercial ones on the need to live in peace. That is why our association serves as training ground for the youth among us. “We have established branches across the coun-

try, except Ekiti and Kogi states which we are working on.” He added: “Government should establish more grazing reserves because we don’t want our cattle to be encroaching on farmlands.” Salihu appealed to the Oyo State Government to provide the Fulani with water, hospitals and other social infrastructure that would make life more meaningful for them. He appealed to members to work collectively and shun any act that could truncate the peace of their respective settlements. Earlier, the NUJ Chairman in Kwara State, Abiodun Abdulkareem, commended Salihu for his contribution to peace building in Oyo State.

he was not comfortable with that made him leave for the APC. “I left the PDP on principle; but the reasons why I left, among other related issues, would be made known to the public soon,” he said. He said his defection to the opposition party was what his constituency wanted, and since he was elected by them, his only option was to do what they requested.

Kano commissioner promises basic infrastructure ALEX MOMOH KANO

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ano State Commissioner of Works, Housing and Transport, Alhaji Abba Yusuf, has reaffirmed the state government’s commitment towards the provision of basic infrastructure for even development in the state. The commissioner gave the assurance yesterday shortly after handing over the multi-million naira headquarters of the Kano State Water Board at Gidan Rijiya, located at Kofar Nassarawa in the state capital. He stated that the government was determined to rehabilitate all government ministries and agencies to provide a conducive working atmosphere for civil servants. Yusuf called on the

board’s staff to work hard so as to ensure adequate supply of potable water to all the nooks and crannies of the state. He said the objective of constructing the new headquarters was to provide government the opportunity to convert the board’s former headquarters along the Emir’s Palace Road in Kano to Girls’ Junior Secondary School, GJSS, to cater for the girls graduating from primary schools every year. Earlier, the state Commissioner of Education, Alhaji Tajudeen Gambo, lauded the state government for constructing the new headquarters. He pointed out that the structure would enable his ministry to prepare for the commissioning of the new GJSS, as well as mobilise adequate intakes for its take-off.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Emergency Update

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

53

Boko Haram: Displaced people return home Debating merger of

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esidents who were displaced by the Boko Haram in various communities in Borno State are gradually returning to their homes following intervention by various stakeholders, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The Northeast Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammed Kanar, said more relief materials have been sent to displaced people as a result of attacks at border communities and other places following a directive by the Director General of the agency. “More relief materials including food, household items, sanitary pads and drugs were distributed to people in Kauri and Alau communities in Borno state,” he said. The District Head of Kawuri, Alhaji Lawal Awa,

said though the community had lost many people, the survivors have picked up their pieces and life was gradually returning to normal. In a statement by the Information Officer of the agency, Abdulkadir Ibrahim, it is disclosed that most of the displaced peoples have returned to their communities and activities were gradually returning to normal. The statatement further stated that he Zonal coordinator NEMA North East, Alhaji Muhammed Kanar, who was in company of other stakeholders led a team to the communities to distribute these relief material like food items, household items, and basic needs like sanitary pads and drugs. Most of the internally displaced persons have returned back to the community and activities

are gradually picking up in the communities. While receiving the team in Alau community, the district head Alhaji Lawan Mala expressed his appreciation to the Federal Government for providing food items to the community which were badly needed since the attackers had destroyed the market in the community, thereby rendering foodstuffs short. On his part, the district head of Kawuri, Alhaji Lawal Awa said the community had lost a lot, but gradually, people are beginning to pick up from the pieces, and life is returning to normal in the communities. The representatives of the victims also expressed their appreciation stressing that life has not been easy since the attacks occurred. The Agency was able to bring smiles to the faces of

the victims with the provision of these basic necessities, as the people have been shown that are part and parcel of the country and were not forgotten in their trying moment. It is recalled that the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi, who described recent happenings as “humanitarian crisis” said last week that over 9,000 people fled from Kawuri alone and called on the federal government and well-meaning individuals to assist the victims. The displaced people came from Kawuri, Alau, a fishing community in Konduga Local Government Area. Others are from villages and hamlets along Kwaljiri, Kaya, Ngawo Fate, Limanti, Njaba, Yahuri, Mude, Wala among others in Damboa, Konduga and Gwoza local government areas.

Kara Market burnt in Sokoto, recently.

PHOTO: NAN

NEMA advocates collective effort to tackle disaster

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he Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mohammed Sani Sidi, has urged disaster managers in West African countries to work together towards reducing disaster impact on communities in the sub-region. In a Press Statement by Press Officer, Manzo Ezekiel, the NEMA boss made remarks at the executive board meeting of the Regional Committee for Disaster Management in West Africa in Dakar, Senegal. Sani-Sidi who is the Board President said the cross boundary nature of disaster and the impacts require collective actions from all of the countries. “According to statistics, there was flooding in The Republic of Benin, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali,

Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal between the months of June and December 2013. This highlights the facts that occurrence of natural disasters in West Africa is now on the increase and it has been attributed to climate change coupled with vulnerability of the sub-region in relation to the rest of the world. “Until a permanent solution is found to reverse or abate the menace of climate change, it is our responsibility as disaster managers to reduce its impacts on the populace. Since disaster is cross-boundary in nature, it is necessary for the subregion to work together to move disaster management in West Africa forward. Fortunately, this is our objective in GECEAO (being the French acronym of the Regional Committee for Di-

saster Management in West Africa),” Sidi said. Sidi, who also serve as the regional president of the West African Committee of the disaster managers, further noted that the group has designed an action plan for 2013-2014 which covers “more efficient use of hydro-meteorological information, harmonization of preparedness and response tools, financial resources mobilization and effective implementation of the Oslo guidelines on the use of military and civil defence assets in disaster relief.” He said through the committee, member countries would benefit from the opportunity it provides for cross fertilization of ideas and experiences, as well as available training opportunities for their disaster managers.

The meeting in Dakar, Senegal which is on-going in Dakar, Senegal and the Nigerian DG NEMA Mohammed Sani Sidi presiding over; is facilitated by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) with the participants drawn from governmental, regional and international agencies engaged in disaster management from all countries in the West African SubRegion.

DG NEMA, Muhammad Sani Sidi

NEMA, NSCDC ADEDOYIN ADEWUNMI

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isaster management is serious business and one which needs total commitment not only from the Emergency Managers but also the attentions of the citizens. Over the years, Nigeria has had its share of natural and man-induced disasters; from flooding to fires, and more recently, the Boko Haram insurgency which have given rise to humanitarian issues and displacements. All these have necessitated the response of various emergency agencies, from the Police, Red Cross, Fire Service, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Recently, the Chairman of the House Committee on Interior, Honorable Umar Bature threw his weight behind the call for the merger of the operations of the Federal Fire Service, NEMA and NSCDC in order to boost effective service delivery and align the operations of the NSCDC with global best practices. Though the legislator could not give concrete reasons for his envisaged merger, the agencies as independent entities have not been accused of failure to discharge their statutory responsibilities. The Fire Service was established to combat and put off outbreak of fires and ensure that individuals and groups adhere to best practices in handling inflammables. In fact, since every state as its fire service arm, the construction workers are also to be compelled to adhere to the building code to forestall fire outbreaks in buildings. Meanwhile on the other hand NSCDC and NEMA are federal institutions with their specific mandates to prevent and manage emergency and disaster situations in the country. The NSCDC is a Para-military agency which was commissioned to provide measures against threat and any form of attack or disaster against the nation and its citizenry. It is empowered to institute legal action against offender and maintain an armed squad to strengthen the corps in the discharge of its statutory duties. The Corps was introduced during the civil war in 1967 as Lagos Civil Defence Committee to sensitize and protect the civil populace and later on to enlighten and educate

the people on enemy attacks during wars. By 2003, it became a fully fledged Para-military outfit under the Ministry of Interior with the principal focus in being the area of broad based information networking, monitoring of movement of persons, vandalism of all types and monitoring and supervision of private guard companies with focus on complete rescue operations, crisis management. It is also a member of International Civil Defence organization. NEMA on the other hand is also defined by law and mandated to coordinate resources towards efficient and effective disaster prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response in Nigeria. It acts in the following areas: coordination, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), search and rescue, policy and strategy, geographic Information system, advocacy, education, administration, finance and logistics, relief and rehabilitation of victims, planning, research and forecasting. Furthermore, it is mandated to process relief assistance to such countries as may be determined from time to time and receive financial and technical aid from international organizations and non-governmental agencies and monitor the state of preparedness of all organizations or agencies which may contribute to disaster management in Nigeria. We can therefore adduced from the above fact that Fire Service, NSCDC and NEMA have distinctive roles to manage disasters but can only cooperate and collaborate in the operation. We cannot for instance, for whatever reason justify the merger of the Army, Navy and Airforce just because they perform military operation. Even in our democratic setting our legislators and even Nigerians may not accept the Merger of the Senate and House of Representatives or the merger of Executive arm with the Legislative chamber. Their mandates could be similar but each and every institution so set up has its manadates. It must also be stated that NEMA is actually a coordinating agency whose offices are scattered at each geopolitical zones rather than in each state because it is not a first responder like Fire Service, Police, Civil Defence, and Federal Road Service Commission (FRSC) among others.


54

Features

The growing incidence of cattle rustling in some parts of the country is assuming an alarming dimension, as hoodlums are known to carry out their nefarious activities with dangerous weapons, leading to loss of lives. James Danjuma writes that Katsina State Government is leaving no stone unturned to check the menace.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Battling the wanton activities

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ormer Katsina State Deputy Governor and ex- Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Garba Aminchi was going about his chores when someone called to tell him that his farm, located in the southern part of the state had been raided by cattle rustlers. The more than a dozen rustlers had invaded the farm, armed with dangerous weapons. They were said to have overpowered the security guards and carted away many cows worth millions of naira. Before Aminchi could call on security operatives to possibly intercept the thieves or do something to save his animals, the rustlers had already moved the herd of cows into a forest and disappeared from sight. It was some days later that, by sheer luck, the former Ambassador was able to locate 19 of his cattle in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, which is several hundreds of kilometres from his farm. As the Commissioner of Agriculture, it was only normal for Musa Adamu to have a cattle farm and his is one of the largest in Ruwan Godiya, Faskari Council area. But the number of his cattle was depleted recently when 100 when fierce -looking rustlers invaded his farm and stole choice cows before retreating into the forest. However,it was not clear whether Adamu was as lucky as Aminchi in locating and possibly recovering some of his stolen animals. The Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, Bature Masari had just settled into his new job in Abuja only to be informed that rustlers went to his farm and stole 200 herds of cattle in his home state. Also, a senior officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, NSC, simply identified Alhaji Hassan, also fell victim to rustlers when 50 of his cattle were stolen from his farm some months ago. In addition, a former chairman of Funtua Council area, Muntari Dandutse had 100 of his cattle recently stolen after rustlers overpowered the security guards stationed on his farm. Cattle rustling have become the major challenge facing herdsmen and other cattle owners, especially in the southern part of the state. The problem, which is a source of headache to herdsmen, security, government and other stakeholders, was initially seen as only affecting local herdsmen.

Herds of cattle being taken to grazing field

SOME OF OUR PEOPLE ARE KILLED AND THEIR WIVES AND DAUGHTERS ABDUCTED BY THE RUSTLERS.

MOREOVER, THE ISSUE OF CATTLE

RUSTLING OCCURS ALMOST ON DAILY BASIS

Security operatives on the trail of rustlers

But of recent, important personalities within and outside the state have had reason to be worried about the problem as it is also affecting them. A few of those affected and aforementioned were said to have mostly occurred last year and in the later part of 2012, but most of these incidents had gone unreported due to the nature of personalities involved. At present, security is said to have been beefed up in the farms of some prominent personalities in order to forestall future occurrence. Even the state governor, Ibrahim Shema, who has a farm close to his Dutsinama hometown, is reported to have stationed a police unit stationed in his farm to check cattle rustlers. But this has not done much to address the problem of insecurity in the community, as several cases of cattle rustling are still being reported on daily basis.

Areas mostly affected include Batsari, Jibia, Faskari, Danmusa, Dandume, Kankara, Safana, and Sabuwa council areas, with some of them sharing common border with the Rugu and Koko forests where the dare devil rustlers often hide stolen cattle. It is even said that some of the rustlers have hideouts in the forest where they receive stolen cattle and arrange for their transportation to other parts of the country. According to sources in the affected communities, Fulani herdsmen usually migrate into the forest during the rainy season but are now reluctant to do so due to cases of attacks by rustlers familiar with the forest topography. They added that cases of rustling had been witnessed on small scale for about three to four years ago but the problem is now assuming a worrisome dimension. They said due to the effectiveness of

hiding stolen cattle in the forests, rustlers have become emboldened and are now organising and embarking on raids in communities and villages close by. “But we are suspecting that these rustlers have informants and collaborators living in such communities, and they often relay information to the thieves in the forest who in turn carry out raids and steal cattle belonging to farmers and herdsmen. “It is common knowledge that these rustlers send informants into the town to buy food, recharge cards and other necessities; those on errand then collect information from various sources which are the relayed to the thieves, thereby allowing them to strike at will. “This situation has instilled fear among various communities and farmers who are now afraid to cultivate farmlands that are located close to the forest.” They said the rustlers usually come on motorcycles to carry out raids, and that some villages are now deserted after cattle thieves invaded and carried out atrocities which include killing of


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Features

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

55

of cattle rustlers in Katsina

Herdsmen guarding their cattle while grazing

people, rape of women and stealing of animals and other farm produce. According to them, the implication of rustling is that less meat and milk are produced for sale, thereby creating unemployment for those working in the farms. They also claim that the economic development of the state could be affected as 70 percent of the people are farmers who mostly depend on cows to till the land. Expressing concern on the issue recently, the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman lamented the increasing cases of cattle rustling in the state, especially within the Rugu forest vicinity. Usman said community leaders had notified him concerning the illegal activity of cattle rustlers in the state. “The incidents have often led to the death of cattle owners with the forest acting as escape route for rustlers. Community leaders in the area have written to me on the issue.” He said the chiefs raised their concern with the hope that government would take action to curb such illegal activities. Usman said consequently, stakeholders in the region, including traditional institutions in the state, will soon meet to explore ways of addressing the problem. He, therefore, called for urgent action on the matter, arguing that failing to address such could spell danger for the communities living close to the forest. “We need to do something to overpower the situation before the situation overpowers us,” he said. He also called for prayers to help avert a crisis. Speaking on the issue, a herdsman who preferred to remain anonymous said he and some of his fellow herdsmen were recently attacked while they were attending to their cattle at the

A herdsman with his cattle

Rugu forest. “About a dozen men on several motorcycles came at 12am. They demanded we give them some cows in exchange for money, but we told them that the money they were offering was too small, but that we would give them some calf instead. “They became angry and threatened to shoot us if we did not give them the bigger ones, and before we knew what was happening, they brought out guns and shot two of my colleagues. One of them died instantly and the other sustained serious injuries.” He however said that the problem why some of the cases of cattle rustling in the state often go unreported was due to fear of reprisal by the thieves. He said there were instances when whistleblowers were killed or maimed by suspected cattle rustlers after being bailed from police custody.

Also speaking, Hassan Kuraye, who is chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in the state, said the problem has become a source of worry for them as cases of rustling often lead to the killing of herdsmen. “Some of our people are killed and their wives and daughters abducted by the rustlers. Moreover, the issue of cattle rustling occurs almost on daily basis; we have lost count of cattle stolen and herdsmen killed. “The problem is now common in the north and had started in Zamfara before spreading to Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger states and environs. “What is responsible for this is that we have a large forest covering an area of more than 100 km and has borders with neighbouring countries. “The rustling began as minor and iso-

lated events within the forest as herdsmen who were mainly victims moving from country to country. But the forest gradually became a hideout for cattle rustlers who now organise to raid villages close to the forest.” Kuraye said about eight council areas in the state that share common border with the forest are mostly affected, and that some herdsmen often fall victim to rustlers on most occasion. “This has led some of the herdsmen migrating to other states where they feel safe. The problem has affected our people psychologically. The danger in this is that children of some herdsmen killed by rustlers could become threats to society in future. “Also, the economic implication of rustling is something that is worrying. People use their animals at the farms. They are also used for milk and meat, and could be exchanged for money during marriages or other related ceremonies.” He called on the federal government to establish a joint security operation between the affected states to fish out cattle rustlers who have their hideouts in the forest from where they usually organise to attack migrating herdsmen and vulnerable communities.” He also called for the issuance of permits and proper regulation of foreign and local herdsmen, so that they can easily be identified and stopped from stealing or being used to steal cattle belonging to other herdsmen. Worried by the increasing incidence of cattle rustling, the state government recently decided to restrict the movement of vehicles conveying cattle in and out of the state. The Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Hurdi who revealed this, said the movement of such vehicles within the state will be between 6am to 7pm. Hurdi said the decision was reached at the state Security Council meeting, and that the decision was taken to give security agents and members of the community the opportunity to monitor the movement of cattle. “The idea is that once these animals are moved in the day time, people will be able to see them, and if suspected to be stolen, appropriate action could be taken, as he called on those concerned to adhere strictly to the stipulated time.” Earlier before now, the state government had made efforts to check the problem of cattle rustling when after a Security Council meeting; it had beefed up presence of security personnel in areas where the problem was prevalent. But in a recent statement, the Police Commissioner, Mr. Hurdi, had insisted that the problem of cattle rustling had been drastically reduced to less than 10 percent due to constant raids and patrol of the areas. Hurdi however called for the provision of a helicopter to the state command to make for aerial surveillance, especially at the Rugu and Koko forests, for the effective combating of cattle rustling and other related crimes in the state.


WORLD RECORD

Largest freshwater lake by volume Vol. 04 No. 785

N150

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The freshwater lake with the g reatest volume is Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia, with an estimated volume of 23,000 km³ (5,500 miles³).

Reflections on the centenary of Nigerian civil service

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he centenary of the founding of the Nigerian state is something to be celebrated. But more than that, it calls for deep and profound reflection for the simple reason that a hundred years is a life time. Whatever may be the shades of opinions on the preparation for the celebration of this event, no one will doubt its momentous nature. There is, therefore, the urgent need to insert reflective thought into the celebrations. James Baldwin gives us a critical insight: ‘There is never a time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment, the time is always now.’ When the Northern and Southern Protectorates were amalgamated by Lord Fredrick Lugard in 1914, he could not have been aware of the century long socio-political and economic implications of creating a plural state that is con-

R

eports emerged late yesterday that Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure, will not face any action from the English Football Association following an incident in the Premier League game at Norwich on Saturday. The Ivorian international appeared to kick out at Canaries striker

Guest

Tunji

Olaopa

Columnist stantly threatened by centrifugal forces of ethnicity, religion and bad political economy. For the 46 years preceding Nigeria’s independence, the nascent state was rigged with several implosive landmines and less-than-nationalist colonial calculations that, in part, have had determinative effects on the 54 years of independence. Nigeria has had, therefore, a hundred years of tragic solitude, to parody the title of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s widely acclaimed novel. Like the novel and its protagonist’s founding of the city of Macondo, the metaphoric Colombia, Nigeria‘s founding owed a lot to the ‘colonial ingenuity’ of a couple. However, unlike Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula Iguaran, Lugard and Flora Shawn had no utopian desires for Nigeria. In spite of the utopian intentions of Buendia, Macondo is still very much like Nigeria in the series of misfortunes and turmoil, within and without, which ravaged the city. And furthermore, just as Macondo’s future was determined by the deciphering of a code that several generations of the Buendia family failed to decode, Nigeria’s fortune, I believe, hangs on our capacity to come to term with our colonial founding and postcolonial maturation. The code that must be deciphered and interpreted to forecast the path of national development for Nigeria is the institution of the civil service as the machinery of government. The civil service system in Nigeria is the only institution that has the badge of continuity linking us to the past and the future. Apart from being the best that could be salvaged from the ambivalent legacies of the colonialists, the civil service system constitutes the focal point of any attempt to redeem the next hundred years of postcolonial and post-indepen-

NIGERIA’S FORTUNE, I BELIEVE, HANGS ON OUR CAPACITY TO COME TO TERM WITH OUR COLONIAL FOUNDING AND POSTCOLONIAL MATURATION dence existence for Nigeria. My hypothesis: the salvation of national integration and development lies with a rejuvenated institution which has been rethought to surpass the logic of colonialism and the limitations of post-independence. It does not take serious reflection to agree with Thomas Taylor Meadows’ conclusion on the glory of China: ‘the long duration of the Chinese empire is solely and altogether owing to the good government which consists in the advancement of men of talent and merit’ in the civil service system. Meadows’ observation was made in 1847 when he was the British Consul in Guangzhou. By 1853, William Gladstone, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reckoned with Meadows’ recommendationsandcommissionedStaffordNorthcoteand Charles Trevelyan to investigate the dynamics of founding a good government on the operations of an efficient and effective civil service. The Northcote-Trevelyan Report of 1854 has since become the template for a modern civil service institution

around which any state can ever hope to make progress through administrative facilitation of the production and distribution of public goods and services to the populace. And democracy brings its own progressive assumptions into the dynamics of the administrative competence of any state. Since its ambivalent founding in 1954, the Nigerian civil service has had enough time to make a full cyclic transition from evolution to growth and reformulation of its founding essence since 1914 to date. The civil service system in Nigeria owes its existence and evolution to series of constitutional and administrative necessities. The year 1954 is very significant in Nigeria’s administrative history because it signals the formal establishment of a civil service structure with a truly Nigerian framework. Before this period, the civil service in Nigeria was strictly a colonial affair. The colonial administrative machinery was narrowly focused to handle the state function which was basically the maintenance of law and order. The strategy for carrying out that function was essentially through an arrangement which not only excluded the colonisedpersonnel,butalsofacilitatedtheexploitation of the colonies. Thus, from 1934 to 1954, seven commissions and committees became the precursor to what would become the Nigerian civil service: Hunt Committee (1934); the Bridges Committee (1942); Tudor-Davies Commission (1945); Harragin Commission (1946); Smaller Commission (1946); Foot Commission (1948), and the Phillipson-Adebo Commission (1953). The evolution of the Nigerian character of the civil service reached its culmination in the post-1954 period with series of reforms that constituted the beginning of the institution of the civil service system in Nigeria. Thus, from 1954, the civil service became the centre of furious and progressive reforms meant to ensure that the evolution of the system would transform it into an adequate institution around which the nascent post-independence state would become true to its stated ideals of providing basic amenities to the Nigerian masses who endured the horrors of colonial administration and its exploitative logic. To be continued Dr. Olaopa, tolaopa2003@gmail.com, is Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Abuja.

Sport Extra

Violent conduct: Toure escapes FA hammer Ricky van Wolfswinkel during the goalless draw at Carrow Road, but referee Jonathan Moss took no action. FA chiefs could still have charged Toure with violent conduct after the injury-time incident was reviewed by a three-man panel of former elite

referees. The panel has been set up to advise what action, if any, it believe the match referee should have taken had the incident been witnessed at the time. However, all three panel members

were not of the unanimous decision that it was an act of violent conduct. A three-match ban would have ruled Toure out of the Premier League games against Sunderland and Stoke as well as the FA Cup showdown with Chelsea.

Toure

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